Seventh-seeded Indo-Pak pair of Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi fought hard to win in the men’s doubles first round of the Australian Open here on Thursday while Sania Mirza and her Zimbabwean partner Cara Black strolled to victory in the women’s doubles.
Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stepanek were also scheduled to play but their match was cancelled.
The seventh seeds had to fight hard for a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(5) win over Rameez Junaid of Australia and Adrian Mannarino of France in a match lasting an hour and 55 minutes.
Both teams had many opportunities to break each other’s serve in the first set but it was Bopanna and Qureshi who converted one of the six break points they had won to wrap up the first set.
The unseeded Australian-French returned the favour in the second set, managing to convert one of the three break-point opportunities to level the match at a set-all.
The third set was a close fought affair with both teams serving impeccably and not giving any break-point opportunities to each other.
In the end, Bopanna and Qureshi held their nerves to win the tie-break 7-5 and set a second round date with unseeded British duo of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins.
In the women’s doubles, Sania and her veteran partner Black had little trouble in disposing of the local team of Tammi Patterson and Arina Rodionova 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and seven minutes.
The sixth seeds will now face Romanian-Czech pair Monica Niculescu and Klara Zakopalova in the second round.
While Bopanna-Qureshi had to fight hard for a win, Sania-Black strolled to victory in the opening round in Melbourne.