© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

John Peers and Henri Kontinen break serve four times to reach the second round in Rome.

Kontinen/Peers Begin Pursuit Of First Title In 2019

All doubles seeds in action move through on Monday

Two-time Nitto ATP Finals champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers have won at least three titles in each of the past three seasons. And the Finnish-Aussie team made a good start toward claiming its first trophy of 2019 on Monday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Eighth-seeded Kontinen and Peers defeated Monte-Carlo quarter-finalists Radu Albot and Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5, 6-3 in 70 minutes. They broke serve four times to advance, as they try to better 2017 semi-final 2018 quarter-final appearances in Rome.

They were not the only seeded pairs that moved through, though. In fact, all seeded pairs are undefeated so far today. Top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo beat Italian wild cards Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 in 71 minutes as third seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Roberto Farah dismissed Rohan Bopanna and Dominic Inglot 7-6(5), 6-3 in one hour and 25 minutes.

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Fourth seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor battled past veterans Ivan Dodig and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 3-6, 10-3 in 90 minutes. Mektic and Skugor saved championship point to win the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters last month.

Oliver Marach and Mate , the 2018 year-end No. 1 ATP Doubles Team ousted Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-3 ,and sixth seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus beat German brothers Alexander Zverev and Mischa Zverev 7-6(2), 6-4. But the loss was not before Alexander created arguably the moment of the tournament thus far, giving a young fan his headband after accidentally hitting an overhead into the crowd.

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Other winners on Monday were Austin Krajicek/Artem Sitak and Matwe Middelkoop/Gilles Simon.