They had their chances but Marina Erakovic and her Slovenian partner, Polona Hercog, lacked the polish to claim the scalp of the world's top-ranked doubles pair, Cara Black and Liezel Huber, on centre court yesterday.

The Kiwi and her partner were left to rue blowing four straight break points in the seventh game of the first set, with Black holding thanks to a succession of Erakovic unforced errors, including consecutive mis-hits from the Kiwi, the second of which came on the sudden death point.

Black and Huber capitalised on a flat patch from Erakovic to close out the set 6-3.

"I think we were a bit surprised there," Erakovic said of what was clearly an unexpected chance to take charge against the world's premier doubles specialists.

"We lost that game and maybe thought about it a bit too much. And then unfortunately I lost my service game. After that we picked it up and we managed to play well again and we definitely had our chances in the second [set] as well."

With Hercog providing the power and Erakovic the finesse at the net, the Kiwi/Slovenian duo eased to a 4-1 lead in the second set. Again the key moment came in the seventh game, with Erakovic broken to love to put the match back on serve.

The top seeds fended off a sudden death set point with Black serving at 6-5 down and then seemed to have the tie break in the bag after taking a 5-2 lead. But a succession of sharp Erakovic volleys on what was the most entertaining point of the match kept hometown hopes alive.

Erakovic and Hercog survived two match points to level at 6-6 before a double fault from the Kiwi handed the four-time Grand Slam winners a third chance to close out, which Black did with a neat volley past Hercog.

Pushing such a well-performed combination had provided a timely confidence boost ahead of today's singles match, Erakovic said.

"They play very solid," she said. "It is percentage tennis. They return well, they serve well and they have very good eyes at the net."