London, Great Britain, 12 July 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Storm Hunter and Belgian Elise Mertens are proving why they are one of the world’s best teams.

The third seeds have dropped a total of seven games in a hasty march into the ladies’ doubles semifinals at Wimbledon 2023.

Hunter and Mertens secured their place in the final four with another commanding victory, beating British wildcards Naiktha Bains and Maia Lumsden 6-2 6-1 in quarterfinal action today at the All England Club.

Bains and Lumsden, ranked No.173 and No.178 respectively, had been enjoying a stunning career-best run to become the first all-British pair to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 40 years.

But world No.7 Hunter and world No.8 Mertens simply outclassed their less experienced opponents, conceding only 11 points on serve in the 71-minute encounter.

This improves 28-year-old Hunter and 27-year-old Mertens’ season record to 18 wins from their 23 matches.

They teamed up for the first time at the Australian Open in January, where they advanced to the quarterfinals. Hunter and Mertens also made final-eight appearances at Indian Wells and Miami, before enjoying a title-winning run at the WTA 1000 event in Rome.

This helped Hunter’s ranking peak at a career-high world No.5 in May.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Hunter said of their partnership on The AO Show podcast last week.

Their semifinal run matches Hunter’s career-best result at Wimbledon, having also made this stage in 2021.

With this effort, Hunter joins exclusive company as only the 12th Australian in the Open era to make multiple ladies’ doubles semifinal appearances at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon ladies’ doubles
Australians to reach multiple semifinals in the Open era
Player Year
Judy Dalton 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972
Margaret Court 1969, 1970, 1971
Kerry Reid 1969, 1970, 1978
Karen Krantzcke 1969, 1970, 1974
Evonne Goolagong Cawley 1971, 1973, 1974
Helen Gourlay 1974, 1975, 1977
Wendy Turnbull 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988
Liz Smylie 1985, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996
Rennae Stubbs 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2009
Sam Stosur 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
Casey Dellacqua 2008, 2013
Storm Hunter 2021, 2023

Hunter and Mertens now play the 16th seeds, American Caroline Dolehide and China’s Zhang Shuai, for a place in the final.

Although it will be the first meeting between these teams, they are familiar with each other.

Hunter has made two Grand Slam doubles semifinal appearances alongside world No.39 Dolehide, including at Wimbledon in 2021.

Mertens and world No.36 Zhang reached last year’s Wimbledon doubles final together.

In the girls’ doubles competition, Lily Taylor scored a milestone victory.

The 16-year-old from Brisbane combined with Poland’s Zuzanna Pawlikowska to record her first win at Wimbledon, defeating Serbia’s Darja Suvirdjonkova and Czech Vendula Valdmannova 4-6 6-3 [10-5] in a rain-delayed first-match round.

Taylor’s run ended later in the day however, exiting in the second round.

Taylah Preston and Emerson Jones, the last-remaining hopes in the girls’ singles competition, also bowed out of the tournament after losing their third-round matches.

Aussies in action – Wimbledon

Ladies’ doubles, quarterfinals
[3] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) d [WC] Naiktha Bains (GBR)/Maia Lumsden (GBR) 6-2 6-1

Girls’ singles, third round
[8] Ena Koike (JPN) d [WC] Taylah Preston (AUS) 6-4 6-3
[WC] Mika Stojsavljevic (GBR) d [13] Emerson Jones (AUS) 6-1 7-5

Girls’ doubles, first round
Lily Taylor (AUS)/Zuzanna Pawlikowska (POL) d Darja Suvirdjonkova (SRB)/Vendula Valdmannova (CZE) 4-6 6-3 [10-5]
[1] Lucciana Perez Alarcon (PER)/Kaitlin Quevedo (USA) d Roisin Gilheany (AUS)/Daniela Piani (GBR) 7-5 7-6(3)

Girls’ doubles, second round
[2] Renata Jamrichova (SVK)/Federica Urgesi (ITA) d Lily Taylor (AUS)/Zuzanna Pawlikowska (POL) 6-1 7-6(2)

Ladies’ doubles, semifinals
[3] Storm Hunter (AUS)/Elise Mertens (BEL) v [16] Caroline Dolehide (USA)/Zhang Shuai (CHN)

> VIEW: Wimbledon 2023 ladies’ doubles draw

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