Australian Open: Leander Paes-Purav Raja enter round two

Paes and Raja dispatched the pair of Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-2, 6-3 in the opening round.

File Photo: Leander Paes and Purav Raja during India’s Davis Cup doubles match against Korea in New Delhi.   -  Sandeep Saxena

The pair of veteran Leander Paes and Purav Raja outplayed its opponents to progress to the men’s doubles second round at the Australian Open and were joined by Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan with its respective partners.

Paes and Raja dispatched the pair of Nikoloz Basilashvili and Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-2, 6-3 in its opening round. Both now have a tough job at hand as they are up against fifth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, one of the most consistent teams in the previous season.

Left-handed Divij, who had a great 2017 season, and American Rajeev Ram, seeded 16th, edged out Marius Copil of Romania and Serbia’s Viktor Troicki 7-6(5) 6-4 in the opening round. They will now fight it out with Fabio Fognini and Marcel Granollers.

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Meanwhile, 10th seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin fought off a late charge from Ryan Harrison and Vasek Pospisil to prevail 6-2, 7-6(5).

Bopanna saved a break chance in the sixth game of the second set to remain unbroken, forcing a tie breaker. Pospisil, who was broken in the sixth game of the opening set, served consecutive double faults in the tie-breaker to hand advantage to Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin.