Krajicek/Mahut Upset Former Miami Champs On Team Debut
Austin Krajicek and Nicolas Mahut's team debut proved a memorable one on Friday evening.
The American-French duo upset 2021 champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-3, 6-7(6), 10-7 to reach the second round of the Miami Open presented by Itau. They rallied from a mini-break down in the Match Tie-break and took advantage of a costly Pavic double fault.
Krajicek and Mahut will next play Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez, who eliminated Jaume Munar and Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-2, 7-6(3). They are competing together this week because Krajicek's usual partner, Ivan Dodig, is out with an injury.
At January’s Australian Open, Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski won just four games in quarter-final defeat against eventual champions Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler.
On Friday in Miami, the joint-No. 1s in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings had their revenge. Koolhof and Skpuski raced to a 6-1, 6-2 victory against their Australian rivals to reach the second round.
The top seeds converted six of nine break points in a dominant 64-minute display to kick-start their bid for a fourth ATP Masters 1000 crown. Koolhof and Skupski opened an ultimately unassailable 4-0 leads in both sets of their win, bouncing back from the disappointment of their tchampionship-match defeat in Indian Wells six days ago.
Koolhof and Skupski also suffered championship match disappointment in Miami a year ago, when they fell to Hubert Hurkacz and John Isner. The Dutch-British pair will continue its bid to banish those memories at Hard Rock Stadium this year with a second-round clash against Mackenzie McDonald and Botic van de Zandschulp or Marcelo Demoliner and Christopher Eubanks.
All-Dutch pairing Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop also cruised into the second round on Friday. The five-time tour-level titlists dispatched Sebastian Baez and Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3, 6-3 to claim their first Miami win as a team at the second attempt.