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Race for women's doubles top spot heats up

  • Dan Imhoff

The pursuit of Grand Slam doubles spoils at Melbourne Park holds an added incentive this year with a tightly grouped pack snapping at Katerina Siniakova’s heels for the world No.1 ranking.

On Tuesday, one fewer name remained in the race when Gabriela Dabrowski’s campaign ended.

MORE: All the scores from AO 2023

DRAW: Australian Open 2023 women's doubles

Caroline Dolehide and Anna Kalinskaya saw off third-seeded Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 7-5 6-2 for a quarterfinal berth.

“Anna's been meaning to play with me for a while now,” Dolehide said. “I actually played with Storm Sanders [now Hunter] for a year and a half, the Aussie.

“This just came about because we're friends. We get along off court, so we assumed we're going to get along out here.

“Anna's a really solid returner and I'm a really solid server, so we complement each other well in that part. We're just out here having fun."

Dolehide and Kalinskaya’s upset left Coco Gauff best placed to reclaim top spot if she and Jessica Pegula can manage a deep run at Melbourne Park.

Former champion, Belgian Elise Mertens – who claimed the title with Aryna Sabalenka two years ago – also has a shot at returning to No.1 if she and Hunter can push beyond the semifinals.

China’s Yang Zhaoxuan is an outside chance if she and Chan Hao-Ching upset second seeds Pegula and Gauff in the quarterfinals.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (Getty Images)

In the only other women’s doubles match completed due to rain, sixth seeds Desirae Krawczyk and Demi Schuurs set up a quarterfinal with defending champions and top seeds Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova.

The American-Dutch pair soared past Tereza Mihalikova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-3 6-1 after play resumed at 1-all in the second set.

DRAW: Australian Open 2023 men's doubles

DRAW: Australian Open mixed doubles

“I think the most important is to start with the right energy,” Schuurs said. “You can slow down a little bit because you’re sitting inside.

“We knew we won the first set, but maybe you're afraid something will change. I think we did a good job, so onto the next one.”

In an all-unseeded men’s doubles third-round showdown, Monagesque-Polish duo Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski posted a 6-1 6-4 victory over Frenchmen Benjamin Bonzi and Arthur Rinderknech for a quarterfinal berth.

Sania Mirza was gifted an extended stay in her final tournament before retirement when she and Indian partner Rohan Bopanna advanced to the mixed doubles semifinal via walkover from Jelena Ostapenko and David Vega Hernandez.

Wild cards Olivia Gadecki and Marc Polmans won an all-Australian battle against Maddison Inglis and Jason Kubler 6-3 6-2 to set up a semifinal clash against Brazilians Luisa Stefani and Rafael Matos, who were earlier 6-3 6-4 winners over Australians Lizette Cabrera and John-Patrick Smith.