Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut made a strong start to the grass-court swing with a victory over the British duo of Liam Broady and Ryan Peniston at the cinch Championships in London.
The fourth seeds have now reached the quarter-finals at five of their past six events. After back-to-back ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final appearances at Monte-Carlo and Madrid, the Frenchmen reached a final on home soil in Lyon. They took it one step further in Paris, where they claimed their second Roland Garros doubles trophy (d. Bublik/Golubev).
They were tested in their opening match at The Queen’s Club by Broady and Peniston, who enjoyed the partisan crowd’s support. But Herbert and Mahut quickly found their footing after dropping the first set, having held a set point at 6/5 in the tie-break.
The Frenchmen won 80 per cent (36/45) of points behind their first serves, saved all three break points they faced en route to a 6-7(6), 6-2, 12-10 victory.
Second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah also defeated an all-British team in their Queen’s Club opener, taking down Luke Bambridge and Dominic Inglot 6-4, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. Reilly Opelka and John Peers fought their way past eighth-seeded Brits Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski 6-7(6), 7-6(4), 10-2.
In fact, of the nine British men in doubles action on Wednesday, only one advanced: Cameron Norrie, who partnered with Aussie Alex de Minaur on the way to a 5-7, 6-1, 12-10 victory over American-British duo Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, the third seeds.[WATCH LIVE 1]
Top Seeds Toppled In Halle
In Halle, both of the top two seeded teams were upset at the NOVENTI OPEN.
Austin Krajicek and Sam Querry authored the first upset on Tennispoint Court, rallying from a set down against first seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek. The Americans broke three times from four opportunities on route to a 5-7, 6-1, 10-6 victory.
Later in the day, it was the Indian team of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan who scored another big surprise against Lukasz Kubot and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, the second seeds. Bopanna and Sharan saved three set points – including two in a nail-biting tie-break – to record a 7-6(11), 6-4 win.
Third seeds Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau managed to avoid the upset bug in their match against Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic, winning 7-6(3), 6-3.