The home crowds continue to inspire the American doubles pairings at the BNP Paribas Open.
On Saturday it was the turn of Taylor Fritz and Tommy Paul to thrill the local fans as they came out on top in a blockbuster first-round encounter with Spanish stars Carlos Alcaraz and Pablo Carreno Busta.
Just like John Isner and Jack Sock did in their Friday upset of top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, Fritz and Paul had to hold their nerve in a Match Tie-break. They surged to a 9-5 lead before shutting down a mini comeback from their opponents by converting their fourth match point.
The Americans’ serving game was on fire throughout. According to InfoSys ATP Stats, Fritz and Paul won 78 per cent (38/49) points behind first serves and saved all four break points they faced.
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The four-time ATP Masters 1000 champions fired eight aces and saved all three break points they faced as a break in each set was enough to see them through to a second-round clash with Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev.
El Salvadorian Arevalo and Dutchman Rojer came into the match having lost just once in their past three tournaments. They clinched their first two ATP Tour titles together in Dallas and Delray Beach in February before reaching the final in Acapulco.
Peers and Polasek surged to the first set but then fell away as they were constantly put under pressure on serve. Arevalo and Rojer carved out nine break point opportunities in the match, converting six of them, and now face Andrey Golubev and Alexander Zverev in the second round.
There were no such problems for sixth seeds Tim Puetz and Michael Venus, who breezed past Polish pairing Hubert Hurkacz and Lukasz Kubot 6-2, 6-2 to set a second-round clash with Acapulco champions Feliciano Lopez and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Puetz and Venus have also already picked up a title in 2022, lifting the trophy in Dubai. The pair is seeking a second Masters 1000 title after winning the 2021 Rolex Paris Masters.