Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina showed nerves of steel under pressure as they shocked second seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond to breeze into the women's doubles semifinals of the Australian Open here on Tuesday.

The sixth-seeded Indo-Russian pair staved off very strong resistance from the Americans for a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(6) win in the marathon quarterfinal, which lasted three hours and five minutes.

This is only the second time in Sania's career that she has reached a Grand Slam semifinal in the women's doubles event.

In 2011, she had reached the Wimbledon semifinals with Elena, losing to Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.

Sania and Elena will now fight it out with the Russian combo of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva for a place in the summit clash.

The deciding third set lasted 93 minutes, which was more than the duration of the first two sets.

Sania and Elena saved eight breakpoints in the third set, apart from converting two and dropping their serve twice in the final set.

In the match tie-break, the two pairs were going neck and neck but Sania and Elena held their nerves and clinched the issue.

Bouncing back

Meanwhile, in the junior competition, Rutuja Bhonsle and Indonesia's Aldila Sutjiadi came from behind to reach quarterfinals of the girls' doubles quarterfinals. They beat Australia's Naiktha Bains and Danielle Wagland 5-7, 6-2, 10-5 in the second round clash.

They face Irina Maria Bara of Romania and Latavia's Jelena Ostapenko, who got a second round walk-over from second seeds Dutch Indy De Vroome and Estonia's Anett Kontaveit.

Keywords: Australian Open

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