A daily look at all that is doubles on the ATP and WTA tours. Tuesday’s buzz centers on Kuala Lumpur. The top seeds survived a tough opening match at the BMW Malaysian Open, while the third seeds were upset victims. Top seeds Chen Lieng and Yafan Wang are through to the next round in Kuala Lumpur. They needed a super tiebreak to defeat Magda Linette and Kai-Lin Zhang.
Lieng-Wang Recover After Dropping First Set
The top seeds at this week’s BMW Malaysian Open stumbled out of the gates on Tuesday as they dropped the opening set to Magda Linette and Kai-Lin Zhang by a score of 6-3. Chen Lieng and Yafan Wang struggled with their second serves, allowing Linette and Zhang to take eight of ten points. Lieng-Wang would find the measure of their game in the second set as they broke their opponents three times, winning 13 of 19 points off Linette and Zhang’s serves as they raced to a 6-2 set win. That led to a super tiebreak finish. The top seeds remained tougher on serve as they would win seven of eight service points en route to the 10-5 finish.
Other Results From Kuala Lumpur
Elsewhere on Tuesday, third seeds Chin-Wei Chan and Barbora Krejcikova were upset victims in opening round play. Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato stunned the seeded duo 6-3, 7-6 (2). The Japanese pair took more than half the points off the third seeds’ serves, winning 33 of 64 points. Other action saw Varatchaya Wongteanchi and Zhaoxuan Yang take care of Lenka Kuncikova and Karolina Stuchla in straight sets 6-4, 6-2. A battle of wild card entries would see Nao Hibino and Ling Zhang top Fangzhou Liu and Jawariah Noordin 6-3, 6-4.
Monday saw just a handful of doubles matches to open the Abierto Monterrey. Fourth seeds Maria Irigoyen and Paula Kania got away to a winning start. They downed Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith 6-2, 6-0. Other match results included Veronica Cepede Royg and Danka Kovinic edging An-Sophie Mestach and Demi Schuurs 2-6, 6-2, 11-9. Monday also saw Elena Bogdan and Viktorija Golubic defeat Shuko Aoyama and Makoto Ninomiya 4-6, 6-1, 10-6.
Tuesday’s light slate of doubles saw the debut of second seeds Anastasia Rodionova and Alicja Rosolska in Monterrey. The second seeds started slowly as they were broken to open the match by Petra Martic and Maria Sanchez. They would claw their way back into the set to force an opening tiebreak. There, Martic-Sanchez scored the final four points of the breaker after being tied at 3-3. The second set got away from Rodionova-Rosolska quickly as they were broken in their first two service games. Martic-Sanchez would finish them off 7-6 (3), 6-3. The only other match of the day would go in favor of Chia-Jung Chang and Misaki Doi who dominated Andrea Gamiz and Aria Sofia Sanchez 6-2, 6-1.
ATP Rankings Report: February
With the calendar flipping from February to March, it’s time to look at the movers and shakers in the doubles ranks. On the ATP World Tour, Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi were the biggest movers of the past week. Buoyed by their title run in Acapulco, Huey-Mirnyi moved up nine spots to fourth overall. The pair were ranked 8th to start February. The second biggest jump of the week went to Dubai finalists Marc and Feliciano Lopez. Team Lopez moved eight spots into 11th overall. They trail last year’s year-end number ones, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, by just 80 points for a spot in the top ten.
The top two spots remain unchanged for the month. Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares are ranked first despite not playing any tournaments together in February. Daniel Nestor and Radek Stepanek are still second. Jean-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah have assumed the number three spot. Cabal-Farah won titles in Buenos Aires and Rio to elevate themselves from 22nd to their current ranking over the past month. The Bryan Brothers remain well down the list due to their inconsistent play so far. They are ranked 24th.
WTA Rankings Report: February
Despite their first loss in 41 matches, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis still have a stranglehold on the top spot in the latest WTA rankings. Mirza-Hingis lead Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan, who are up to the number two spots, by more than 1,300 points. Czechs Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova are in the three hole, despite poor form for the month of February. The Czechs went just 2-3 and loss their opening match in their last two tournaments in Dubai and Doha. Rounding out the top five are Yi-Fan Xu and Saisai Zheng at number four with Spanish duo Anabel Medina Garrigues and Aranxta Parra Santonja in fifth.
The biggest movers in the WTA have been Sara Errani and Carla Suarez Navarro. The duo were 0-1 in their lone match together before February. Last month, they played two tournaments together in Dubai and Doha with a combined record of 6-2. They made a semifinal run at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and lost in the final of the Qatar Total Open last week. They are now ranked 8th overall with 770 of their 771 rankings points coming from those two tournaments.