Karatsev & Rublev Make Strong Start In Indian Wells
The unseeded pair defeated Australian Alex de Minaur and American Reilly Opelka 6-4, 6-4 to reach the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. Karatsev and Rublev, this year's Doha champions, are now 5-1 as a duo, and they have not lost a set in any of their victories.
The Russians earned four service breaks and won 44 per cent of their return points against De Minaur and Opelka. They will next play fourth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah or Italian Simone Bolelli and Argentine Maximo Gonzalez.
In other action, second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury clawed past Briton Cameron Norrie and Australian Luke Saville 4-6, 6-3, 10-8. This year's US Open champions had never previously won a match together in Indian Wells.
Singles star Denis Shapovalov and his partner, Indian Rohan Bopanna, also advanced with a 6-1, 2-6, 10-4 victory against reigning Rolex Paris Masters champions Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz.