© Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Top seeds Mektic/Pavic fall
The Frenchmen won the title as a team in 2019 and set the wheels in motion for a similar run this week, winning 85 per cent (35/41) of their first-serve points against Behar and Escobar to advance after 83 minutes.
Top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic were aiming to win their 10th tour-level crown together as a team this season in Paris, but lost to Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, with the Belgians notching an impressive 6-3, 7-6(6) victory in 89 minutes.
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In a day of surprises, Tim Puetz and Michael Venus shocked second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 7-6(12), 7-6(8) to advance after one hour and 57 minutes. The German-New Zealand team will next play Fabrice Martin and Andreas Mies after the unseeded pair moved past Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau 6-3, 6-3.