Klaasen/Venus Set Wimbledon Date With Hewitt/Thompson
Returning finalists Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus set a second-round meeting with Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Jordan Thompson after both duos kicked off doubles action at Wimbledon with straight-sets victories on Wednesday.
Klaasen and Venus, the No. 3 seeds and recent Halle champions, extended their winning streak on grass by beating Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara 7-5, 7-6(3), 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes. Hewitt, the 2002 singles champion, and Thompson were 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 winners over India’s Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Purav Raja.
The other top teams in action also made their way safely through their opening matches. Top seeds and 2017 champions Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, who lost to Klaasen and Venus in the Halle final, opened their bid to reclaim the title at the All England Club with a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 win over 2018 quarter-finalists Ben McLachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff.
Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, the No. 2 seeds, cruised into the second round by dismissing British wild cards Jack Draper and Paul Jubb 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Cabal and Farah won their first grass-court title last week in Eastbourne.
They will next face the Kazakhstani duo of Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin, who edged Leander Paes and Benoit Paire 4-6, 6-7(1), 6-3, 7-6(4), 9-7 after three hours and 22 minutes. The 46-year-old Paes, who made his Wimbledon debut in 1993, was making his 24th appearance in the men's doubles draw.
Fourth seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares battled for a win in their first-round match against Dutchmen Sander Arends and Matwe Middelkoop, prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3 after two hours and 47 minutes.
Reigning Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters champions and No. 6 seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor were untroubled in their opener, defeating Ricardas Berankis and Marton Fuscovics 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. They could next meet Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Andy Murray, who play Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert in the first round.
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, recent finalists at the Queen’s Club, opened their campaign by defeating Radu Albot and Malek Jaziri 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Meanwhile, ‘s-Hertogenbosch champions Dominic Inglot and Austin Krajicek fell to Jaume Munar and Cameron Norrie 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(11), 6-3.