Read & Watch: Del Potro & Nishikori Victorious On Doubles Debut In Madrid
Juan Martin del Potro and Kei Nishikori won their team debut on Monday at the Mutua Madrid Open, defeating Monte-Carlo singles champion Fabio Fognini and Swede Robert Lindstedt 5-7, 6-4, 10-4 in one hour and 34 minutes.
Del Potro’s lone doubles title came at 2007 Indianapolis with Travis Parrott and Nishikori has not been victorious on the doubles court, but they will try to continue their run against third seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares or Moldovan Radu Albot and Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Five-time Madrid champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan were upset in the first round, as 2016 titlists Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau saved two match points to beat the American twins 4-6, 7-6(2), 12-10. The Bryan brothers led by a set and a break and had two chances to go up a double-break in the second set, but they were unable to finish it off. They bounced back to take a 7-3 lead in the Match Tie-break, but Rojer and Tecau prevailed after one hour and 45 minutes.
Second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, the 2017 Madrid champions, were made to battle past Japanese Ben McLachlan and German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-5, 5-7, 10-6. The Polish-Brazilian duo is now 6-2 in Match Tie-breaks this season, and will move on to play German brothers Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev or Dutchman Robin Haase and South African Raven Klaasen.
Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos, who triumphed in Buenos Aires, advanced to the final in Cordoba and reached the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo earlier this year, got off to a good start in Madrid with a 7-5, 2-6, 11-9 victory against American Rajeev Ram and Brit Joe Salisbury.
Gonzalez and Zeballos let slip a 7-2 lead in the Match Tie-break, but stayed the course to advance after one hour and 31 minutes. They will next play sixth seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who they beat in Monte-Carlo, or veterans Ivan Dodig and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Also through to the second round are Argentine Guido Pella and Portuguese Joao Sousa, who ousted Indian Rohan Bopanna and Brit Dominic Inglot 7-6(4), 6-3 in 68 minutes.