Melo/Kubot, Bryans Win Roland Garros Openers
Top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo and two-time Roland Garros champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan made a winning start on Tuesday in Paris, while second seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares bowed out.
Kubot and Melo, playing together at the clay-court major for a third straight year, defeated Spaniards Roberto Carballes Baena and Jaume Munar 6-3, 7-6(2). The seventh-seeded Bryans, meanwhile, needed three sets to get by another Spanish tandem, Pablo Carreno Busta and Gerard Granollers, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
“It was a very tough team, and we’re very happy with the result,” said Mike Bryan, who is celebrating his 500th week at No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Ranking. “Sticky first round, and first rounds are never easy, especially with a week off and all the nerves with the lead-up. I thought we really raised our games and changed some things tactically that got us over the line. It was a strong effort from us.”
The Bryans missed last year’s Roland Garros due to a hip injury for Bob – marking the first time since the 1999 Australian Open that he’d missed a major. Mike teamed up with fellow American Sam Querrey, and lost in the first round to Ken Skupski and Neal Skupski. The Bryans will face the Skupskis in the second round this year.
“It’s great to be back playing another Slam together… It’s a special place. We won our first Slam here,” said Mike. “We’re here 16 years later, still doing it. We’ve played 20 French [Opens] and have never gone out in the first round.”
Murray and Soares, recent finalists in Barcelona, were unable to hold onto their lead in a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4) defeat to Italians Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Sonego. Sixth seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus also fell in their first-round match to Rohan Bopanna and Marius Copil 6-3, 7-6(4), while ninth-seeded Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos were defeated by Denys Molchanov and Igor Zelenay 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.
Ivan Dodig and Edouard Roger-Vasselin have both won the Roland Garros title – Dodig in 2015 with Melo and Roger-Vasselin in 2014 with Julien Benneteau – but were unable to maintain their strong start Tuesday in a 1-6, 6-1, 7-5 loss to #NextGenATP stars Miomir Kecmanovic and Casper Ruud. Dodig and Roger-Vasselin had won the Lyon title on Saturday.
Eighth seed Henri Kontinen and John Peers made their way safely into the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Leonardo Mayer and Joao Sousa. Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, the No. 10 seeds, closed out a 6-3, 7-6(4) win over Cristian Garin and Juan Ignacio Londero.