With rain early in the week, doubles play did not get into full swing for many players until Thursday. With teams playing two matches in a day, the doubles semifinals were set by the end of Friday’s competition.
HINGIS, MIRZA MARCH WITH NEW PARTNERS
This week notably marks the first tournament since the world No. 1 women’s doubles team of Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza announced their split earlier this month. Over the last two years, the two had won 14 titles, including the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open titles in 2015. This year, they had captured just one title since February.
Hingis and new doubles partner Coco Vandeweghe are into the women’s doubles semifinals, via a pair of walkovers. Their quarterfinal opponents Sara Errani and Carla Suarez Navarro pulled out of the tournament after Suarez Navarro’s three-set loss to Angelique Kerber in the singles quarterfinals.
Mirza is playing this week with Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic, and the two won a pair of matches to advance to the quarterfinals.
They are on the opposite side of the draw from Hingis and Vandeweghe. If both new teams win again Saturday, they will reach Sunday’s final on opposite sides of the net.
CANADIANS ADVANCE PAST TOP SEEDS
The sixth-seeded Canadian duo of Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil scored a 4-6, 6-4, [10-6] victory over the top-ranked doubles team in the world rankings, the French pair of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
Nestor and Pospisil are in the hunt for their first ATP doubles title together. They played in the Olympics together last week, falling to Steve Johnson and Jack Sock in the bronze medal match.
Nestor is a familiar presence in the later rounds at Cincinnati and has compiled a tournament-record 46 doubles wins. He has won the doubles title five times, including last year with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. That ties him with the Bryan brothers with the most doubles titles here in the open era.
PLISKOVA LOOKING FOR SINGLE/DOUBLE COMBO
In addition to being in the singles semifinals, Karolina Pliskova is also in the doubles semifinal. She and Julia Goerges advanced Friday with a 6-4, 6-4 quarterfinal victory over Vania King and Monica Niculescu.
Pliskova is looking to be the first woman to win both Cincinnati titles in one year since Nadia Petrova in 2008.
In the open era, two additional women have hoisted both trophies in the same year: Margaret Court (1972), Rosie Casals (1970).
BRYANS, CHANS IN SEMIFINALS
Five-time men's doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan won two matches Friday to advance to the semifinals at Cincinnati for the 11th time. They closed out play on Grandstand with a 6-4, 7-6(5) victory over Max Mirnyi and Treat Huey.
Defending women’s champions Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan advanced to the semifinals with a 7-5, 2-6, [10-8] victory over the American team of Raquel Atawao and Abigail Spears. No women’s team in Cincinnati history has won back-to-back doubles titles.