Pavic/Soares Work Hard For First Win In Melbourne
Ram, Salisbury win in straight sets
Tenth seeds Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares worked hard on Thursday for their place in the Australian Open second round by beating Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan, winners of last week’s ASB Classic doubles title, 7-6(4), 7-5 in one hour and 47 minutes. Pavic won the 2018 crown with Oliver Marach at Melbourne Park, and Soares clinched the 2016 title with Jamie Murray.
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, the No. 11 seeds, who featured at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, knocked out alternates Daniel Evans and John-Patrick Smith 6-1, 7-6(3) in 75 minutes for a clash against Americans Tennys Sandgren and Jackson Withrow, who edged past Marcelo Demoliner and Matwe Middelkoop 4-6, 7-6(4), 7-6(8) in two hours and 12 minutes. Demoliner and Middelkoop served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, the No. 12 seeds, needed three match points to get the better of Sander Arends and Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 6-7(2), 7-6(5) in two hours and 13 minutes.
Elsewhere, Americans Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey saved one set point at 8/9 in the first-set tie-break en route to a 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-4 victory over alternates Cheng-Peng Hsieh and Yen-Hsun Lu in one hour and 40 minutes.
Four doubles matches were postponed until Friday as dust and rain, earlier on day four, put the schedule on hold.