Sania Mirza and Liezel Huber were made to work hard by Darija Jurak and Heather Watson before making the quarter-finals in the WTA Aegon International, in Eastbourne, on Tuesday.
The second seeded Indo-American pair registered a 7-6(4), 7-6(3) victory over the unseeded Czech-British combo in an hour and 36 minutes, in the first round of the US $690,000 tournament, leading to Wimbledon.
Sania-Huber will now fight it out with Romania's Monica Niculescu-Czech Republic's Klara Zakopalova for a place in the semi-finals.
An early break put Sania and her partner in a comfortable position and soon they were serving for the set in the ninth game. However, they could not deliver the punch as they were down 0-40 and their opponents converted their second chance to make it 4-5 and levelled the score in the next game with a hold.
The issue was stretched to a tie-breaker in which Sania-Huber grabbed the first available opportunity to take a one-set lead.
Jurak-Watson, however, refused to throw in the towel and kept fighting. They broke Huber's serve in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.
Sania-Huber upped the ante and broke back immediately and the set was again on even terms. They had a break chance at deuce point in the seventh game but Jurak-Watson survived.
The next chance for Sania-Huber came in the 11th game and they swiftly broke at love.
Sania was serving for the match but faltered as she began with a double-fault. The Indian was broken at love, forcing a tie-breaker.
Again Sania-Huber proved a better team in the tie-breaker as they clinched the issue.
Image: Sania Mirza
Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images