© USTA/Mike Lawrence

Joao Sousa and Leonardo Mayer pull off the first-round upset of top seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic at the US Open.

Mayer/Sousa Stun Top Seeds In First-Round Boilover

ATP Doubles Race to London leaders fall at first hurdle, Nestor loses final Grand Slam match

Top seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic are out of the US Open after suffering a stunning first-round upset to unseeded pair Leonardo Mayer and Joao Sousa on Wednesday. It marks their second exit as top seeds at the first hurdle of a Grand Slam after falling at the same stage to Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela and Federico Delbonis at Wimbledon.

Mayer/Sousa’s best result together this season is a semi-final run at the Estoril Open. They will next meet Jurgen Melzer and Nikola Mektic for the chance to reach the third round of the past three Grand Slams.

Marach/Pavic – leaders in the ATP Doubles Race to London – reached a semi-final in Toronto leading in, but now had three first-round defeats to their names in their remaining North American summer hard-court events. Defeat continued a slide in fortunes since starting the year with three titles from their first three events – in Doha, Auckland and at the Australian Open. Their solid vein of form continued on the clay where they won a fourth title of the season in Geneva and the Roland-Garros final.

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There were no such troubles for sixth seeds and defending champions Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau on Wednesday. The Dutch-Romanian duo continued a red-hot run with a convincing 6-3, 6-4 result against Dutch-Croatian pair, Sander Arends and Antonio Sancic. Rojer/Tecau defended their Winston-Salem Open title on Sunday and will be confident of adding a third Grand Slam title to their tally after their 2015 Wimbledon breakthrough and last year’s success in New York. The next meet Malek Jaziri and Radu Albot.

Canadian veteran Daniel Nestor played his final Grand Slam match on Wednesday. The 91-time tour-level champion – 12 of those Grand Slam titles – fell in the opening round with Bradley Klahn to American brothers Ryan Harrison and Christian Harrison 6-3, 6-3. A former No.1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings, Nestor announced this would be his last season after making his tour-level debut in 1991.

Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini, the 2015 Australian Open champions, posted a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over German Kevin Krawietz and Maximilian Marterer. They will next meet this year’s Roland-Garros champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. The French ninth seeds, winners of the 2015 US Open, edged past Australian-American duo John-Patrick Smith and Nicholas Monroe 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2).

Eighth seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus continued their push to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 in London with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Slovak-Australian pair Lukas Lacko and John Millman. After falling in a five-set Wimbledon final last month, the South African-New Zealander pair won the Rogers Cup in Toronto a fortnight ago.

 

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