Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin saved three consecutive match points on Wednesday to advance to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia second round in Rome.
Trailing 6/9 in a Match Tie-break, the Dubai semi-finalists claimed five consecutive points to complete a 6-4, 1-6, 11-9 victory against Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Melzer and Roger-Vasselin started well, winning 83 per cent of first-serve points (15/18) in the opening set before their opponents charged back into contention.
The Austrian-French duo is seeking its first title this week. Prior to this year, Melzer and Roger-Vasselin had made only two appearances as a team. Their next opponents will be 2017 champion Nicolas Mahut and Benoit Paire. Mahut and Paire battled past third seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 7-6(6), 2-6, 10-6.
US Open champions Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares extended their winning streak to six matches. The unseeded pairing saved all three break points it faced to eliminate fifth seeds Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 6-1, 6-3 in 58 minutes.
The team Pavic and Soares defeated in the US Open final — Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic — also advanced to the second round. The eighth seeds beat Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-4, 6-4.
Kitzbühel finalists Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos continued their strong run of form, beating wild cards Gianluca Mager and Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-2. The fourth seeds are chasing their third clay-court trophy of the year, following back-to-back title runs at the Argentina Open and the Rio Open presented by Claro in February.