Top Seeds Bruno Soares & Nicole Melichar Advance to Semis in Mixed Doubles
Lyuda Kichenok & Jelena Ostapenko Upset #3 Seeds Barbora Strycova & Su-wei to Reach Women’s Doubles Quarterfinals
Current Kastles doubles star Bruno Soares and former Kastles doubles star Nicole Melichar moved one step closer to claiming their first Grand Slam title together yesterday in Paris. The #1 seeds and six-time-combined Grand Slam champions dusted #7 seeds Nikola Mektic and Alicja Rosolska, 6-3, 7-6(4), to advance to the semifinals of the mixed doubles championship at Roland Garros.
This is the second semifinal appearance for Soares and Melichar. The pair reached the final four at the Australian Open earlier this year, but this is Melichar’s first trip to the semis at the French Open. Soares previously advanced to the semis of Roland Garros in mixed in 2014 with Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan.
The win over Mektic and Rosolska was the first tiebreak victory of the tournament for Soares and Melichar. So far, the Kastles pair have yet to lose a set. They previously defeated Orange County Breakers star Andreja Klepac and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-4, 6-3, to advance to the quarterfinals, and before that beat 2017 French Open mixed doubles champion Rohan Bopanna and three-time Grand Slam doubles champion Lucie Hradecka, 7-5, 6-1, in their opening round match.
Next up, Soares and Melichar will play the winner of reigning French Open mixed doubles champions Ivan Dodig and Latisha Chan’s quarterfinal match against French duo Amandine Hesse and Benjamin Bonzi.
Elsewhere for the Kastles, DC’s newest doubles star Lyuda Kichenok continues to impress in Paris. The Ukrainian world #54 and Latvian former singles world #5 Jelena Ostapenko upset #3 seeds Barbora Strycova and Su-wei Hsieh, 7-5, 6-1, on Sunday to reach the quarterfinals of the women’s doubles championship. Strycova and Hsieh were the top-ranked team in the upper-bottom quarter of the draw.
It was the second upset of the tournament for Kichenok and Ostapenko. The duo began their bid with an upset over #14 seeds Irina-Camelia Begu and Mihaela Buzarnescu, 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4, in the first round. They then advanced past Magdalena Rybarikova and Marketa Vondrousova in a walk over.
In their next match, Kichenok and Ostapenko will face another formidable team, #6 seeds Elise Mertens of Belgium and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, for a spot in the semis. Mertens and Sabalenka previously defeated Americans Jessica Pegula and Desirae Krawczyk, 7-5, 6-2. Kichenok and Ostapenko play Mertens and Sabalenka this Wednesday.
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