There will be three Brits in the second round of the men’s doubles at BNP Paribas Open Masters Series in Indian wells as Colin Fleming and Andy & Jamie Murray won tough opening matches.
Andy and Jamie, playing together for the first time this year and only the second time since the Olympics, were up against fifth seeds and doubles veterans Robert Lindstedt and Nenad Zimonjic.
The Swedish/Serbian pairing are ranked 7th and 20th respectively in men’s doubles and are in fine form, having reached the final of their last two tournaments, the ATP 500 in Rotterdam and ATP 500 in Dubai, winning the former.
The Scottish brothers, however, were unfazed and took the first set breaking twice to their opponents once, despite strong serving from both pairs.
The Murrays were a break up in the second but there was to be no straights sets victory as the fifth seeds broke Jamie twice to claim the momentum and the set.
But the pair from Dunblane were not to be denied for long, winning the Champion’s Tie-break without losing a service point while taking advantage of their opponents faltering serve to win in just under 90 minutes.
Meanwhile Fleming, partnering 35-year-old Australian Paul Hanley, also faced a tough draw against the team of Tommy Haas, 19th seed in the singles draw, and Xavier Malisse who is ranked inside the top 50 in both singles and doubles.
The first set was dominated by the serve but Fleming and Hanley were able to edge it, taking their only break point while able to save the one that their opponents created.
The German-Belgian team fought back and were in the ascendency for much of the second set but their opponents hung around, battling to a tie-break.
Throughout the match Fleming and Hanley played the crucial points well and did the same in the tie-break, taking it 7-4 and with it the match in just under an hour and 20 minutes.
Fleming, ranked 27th in doubles, is in fine form this season, having already won one title, the ATP 250 Open 13 in Marseille with Rohan Bopanna.
It is a sign of the Scot’s current standing in the game that he can attract partners of the quality of Bopanna and Hanley in the absence of his regular partner, Ross Hutchins currently out battling cancer.
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