WTA Rome: Elise Mertens and Storm Hunter reach doubles semi-finals
Elise Mertens qualified for the doubles semi-finals at the WTA 1,000 tournament in Rome on Monday. Teaming up with Australian Storm Hunter, who she is seeded fourth with, the Belgian defeated Hungary's Timea Babos and Kazakhstan's Anna Danilina.
The pair won their quarter-final 6-4, 6-2, in one hour and 19 minutes, having beaten Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens and Poland's Alicja Rosolska in the first round. Their semi-final opponents have not yet been announced.
Mertens has been very successful in doubles in recent years. She has 17 doubles titles, including a WTA 125K Series title. She was the top seed in Dubai and at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth with Russian Veronika Kudermetova.
Her greatest triumphs came alongside Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka, with whom she won the Australian Open (2021) and US Open (2019), and Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei, with whom she was the top-ranked player at Wimbledon (2021).
In the singles, the 27-year-old, ranked 26, lost to Russia's 57-ranked Anna Kalinskaya in the second round on Friday.
Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens at the Australian Open in January 2023 © BELGA PHOTO PATRICK HAMILTON