Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic are doing double duty at the Western & Southern Open. It is working for them both thus far.
After the Canadians won their first-round singles matches on Saturday, they partnered one another to beat Nicolas Mahut and Jan-Lennard Struff in their opening doubles match on Sunday 6-3, 1-6, 10-0.
Auger-Aliassime and Raonic combined to win just 39 per cent of their service points in the second set. But they quickly turned that around in the Match Tie-break, blitzing the French-German team with power. On match point, Raonic crushed an inside-out forehand return, which Struff could not handle.
Auger-Aliassime and Raonic, who are competing together for the first time, will next play reigning Australian Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, who advanced on Saturday.
Another pair of single stars caused an upset. Pablo Carreno Busta and Alex de Minaur eliminated defending champions Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 3-6, 7-6(3), 10-5. The unseeded team did well to work points so that they could use their groundstrokes to their advantage rather than getting involved in volley-to-volley exchanges with the fourth seeds.
Carreno Busta and De Minaur won 79 per cent of their first-serve points against the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals qualifiers. They will next play Hubert Hurkacz and John Isner.
Fifth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos ousted Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 7-6(1). They’ll play Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka, who won an all-American battle against Sam Querrey and Jack Sock 6-3, 6-7(3), 10-5.
Other teams that advanced to the second round were Nikola Cacic/Dusan Lajovic and Steve Johnson/Austin Krajicek.