© Peter Staples / ATP World Tour

Brian Baker, center, and Nikola Mektic advance on Tuesday during their MercedesCup opener in Stuttgart.

Baker/Mektic To Face Murray/Soares On The Grass

Two-time champions this season advance past Frenchmen

Brian Baker of the U.S. and Nikola Mektic of Croatia kicked off their grass-court season with success on Tuesday, beating Frenchmen Lucas Pouille and Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-3 to move into the quarter-finals of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

Baker and Mektic, champions on the indoor hard courts in Memphis and the outdoor clay courts of Budapest already this season, won 82 per cent of their first-serve points to advance in 64 minutes.

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They will next face second seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who advanced by walkover. Treat Huey and Robert Lindstedt had to withdraw because of a back problem for Huey, and no alternate doubles team was available to take their place.

In other doubles action, fourth seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic advanced 7-6(3), 6-7(9), 10-6 against German wild cards Andre Begemann and Jan-Lennard Struff. Marach/Pavic will meet Nicholas Monroe of the U.S. and Artem Sitak of New Zealand, who edged Steve Johnson of the U.S. and Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-5, 7-6(4).

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