MELBOURNE, Jan 24 (IANS): India's Sania Mirza and her Russian partner Elena Vesnina beat fancied American duo of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 to enter the women's doubles semifinals at the Australian Open tennis here Tuesday.
The Indo-Russian pair, seeded sixth, held their nerve in a fiercely contested match at the Melbourne Park against the second seeds to win the deciding set 8-6 in the tie-break. The battle lasted for a little over three hours, of which 93 minutes were consumed to settle the third set.
Though Sania-Vesnina committed more unforced errors than Raymond and Huber, their 60 winners to 37 made the difference.
The 2011 French Open finalists Wednesday play the dangerous Russian combine of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva, who are in the top-20 of the singles rankings.
Kuznetsova-Zvonareva defeated the Romanian pair of Irina-Camelia Begu and Monica Niculsecu 7-5, 6-3 in their last eight match.
The other semifinal will be between Italy's Sarra Errani and Roberta Vinci and Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.
Sania will also play alongside compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi in the mixed doubles quarterfinals Wednesday. They had won the title in 2009.
Leander Paes will take the court with Czech partner Radek Stepanek for a men's doubles last eight match.
In girl's doubles, India's Rituja Bhosale with Indonesian partner Aldila Sutjiadi defeated Australia's Naikhta Bains and Danielle Wagland 5-7, 6-2, 10-5 in the second round.