Koolhof/Skupski Begin Madrid Title Defence With Win As Other Top Seeds Fall | ATP Tour
Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski picked up where they left off at the Mutua Madrid Open on Saturday evening. The top seeds and defending champions passed a tough opening test at the ATP Masters 1000 with a 6-2, 7-6(7) win against Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz.
The Dutch-British pair saved all thee break points against them — all in the first set — and later saved a set point at 5/6 in the second-set tie-break before closing out the win on their second match point. With the help of seven aces, they won 84 per cent (32/38) of their first-serve points in the victory.
Through to the last 16, Koolhof/Skupski will face wild cards Roberto Carballes Baena and Martin Landaluce in the second round following the Spaniards’ 6-2, 6-3 win against Rafael Matos and David Vega Hernandez on Saturday.
Second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury were knocked out in Madrid without a match win for the second straight year. The American-British team was turned back by Banja Luka champions Jamie Murray and Michael Venus, who scored a 6-2, 3-6, 10-4 upset.
Third seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek also fell victim to an opening-round upset, with Simone Bolelli and Fabrice Martin dismissing them with a 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 win. The Italian-French duo saved a match point at 10/9 in the Match Tie-break before clinching victory on the second match point of thier own.
Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov also advanced on Satuday with a 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 win against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos, setting up a second-round showdown with fifth-seeded Croatians Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.