Mektic/Pavic Off The Mark In Rome Title Defense | ATP circuit

Reigning champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic found their way back to winning ways on Tuesday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia with a dominating victory to open their campaign in Rome. The third seeds overtook Lukasz Kubot and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-3, 6-3, to claim their first victory since reaching the final in Belgrade last month.

After early outings in Munich and Madrid, the Croatians have started strong in the Italian capital. They broke serve three times in the match and erased all four break points against them, winning 74% (26/35) of their first-serve points with the help of seven aces. Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz await in the last 16.

Mektic and Pavic reached the final in Dubai in February but are still in the hunt for their first title of 2022. The Croatians won nine titles last season, their first as a team, including three at ATP Masters 1000 events (Miami , Monte Carlo, Rome). They also won the Wimbledon title and Tokyo Olympic gold.

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In an all-Italian showdown between wild-card duos, Luca Nardi and Lorenzo Sonego beat Flavio Cobolli and Francesco Forti, 6-2, 6-7(7), 10-4. They will face eighth-seeded Germans Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, recent champions in Barcelona and Munich, in the round of 16.

Another decisive match saw fourth-seeded duo John Peers and Filip Polasek sent off in the first round, with Andrey Golubev and Maximo Gonzalez taking a 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 decision.

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