Murray/Skupski Claw Into Third Round At Roland Garros
Fourth seeds Kubot/Melo among early casualties
Murray and Skupski battled past French wild cards Manuel Guinard and Arthur Rinderknech 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3) after two hours and 21 minutes. They only converted three of their 18 break points, but they were opportunistic when it mattered most in the deciding set.
It won't get easier for the 13th seeds, who next face second seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. The recent Internazionali BNL d'Italia champions improved to 22-5 on the season by knocking out Daniel Evans and Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-2 in just 51 minutes.
Granollers and Zeballos have captured titles this year at the Argentina Open title in Buenos Aires (d. Duran/Londero), the Rio Open presented by Claro (d. Caruso/Galo) and in Rome (d. Chardy/Martin) two weeks ago. They also finished runner-up at the Generali Open in Kitzbuhel (l. to Krajicek/Skugor).
Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies continued their Roland Garros title defence in style by sweeping past Argentineans Federico Coria and Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-0 for a place in the third round. The eighth seeds, who lost just eight points in the second set, will next meet wild cards Benjamin Bonzi and Antoine Hoang, who beat fellow Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino and Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-1.
Americans Nicholas Monroe and Tommy Paul recovered from 1-3 down in the first set to upset fourth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes. They await the winners between 16th seeds Austin Krajicek/Franko Skugor and Pablo Cuevas/Feliciano Lopez.
Fifteenth seeds Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin booked their place in the third round with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 win over Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez in two hours and 15 minutes. They now prepare to face top seeds and two-time semi-finalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah or Robert Lindstedt and Jordan Thompson.
John Peers and Michael Venus, the 11th seeds, overcame Miomir Kecmanovic and Casper Ruud 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 43 minutes for a place in the second round. Other teams that advanced to the second round on Thursday were 12th seeds Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau and Vasek Pospisil/Jack Sock.