Aussie duo score big win in Rome
Luke Saville and Max Purcell defeat the seventh seeds in men's doubles action in Rome.
Luke Saville and Max Purcell have defeated one of the world’s top-ranked doubles teams in the opening round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Rome.
The Australian duo recorded a 7-5 7-5 victory against No.13-ranked South African Raven Klaasen and No.24-ranked Austrian Oliver Marach last night.
Their victory over the seventh seeds sets up a second-round meeting with Argentine combination Maximo Gonzalez and Diego Schwartzman.
This is only the second ATP-level clay court tournament that the 26-year-old Saville and 22-year-old Purcell, who made the Australian Open final earlier this year as wildcards, have played together.
Arina Rodionova also scored an impressive doubles win overnight, teaming with American Asia Muhammad to defeat newly-crowned US Open doubles champion Vera Zvonareva and Canada’s Sharon Fichman.
Their 6-4 6-4 wins sets up a second-round clash with second seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Zhang Shuai of China.
Ellen Perez and Storm Sanders, who made their first tour-level final as a team last week, lost in the opening round.
Five Australians are in action tonight, including John Millman who faces world No.15 Diego Schwartzman in a second-round singles match.
Men’s doubles, first round
Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) d  Raven Klaasen (RSA)/Oliver Marach (AUT) 7-5 7-5
Women’s doubles, first round
Asia Muhammad (USA)/Arina Rodionova (AUS) d Sharon Fichman (CAN)/Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 6-4 6-4
Lucie Hradecka (CZE)/Andreja Klepac (SLO) d Ellen Perez (AUS)/Storm Sanders (AUS) 6-3 7-6(2)
In action tonight:
Men’s singles, second round
John Millman (AUS) v  Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
Men’s doubles, second round
Max Purcell (AUS)/Luke Saville (AUS) v Maximo Gonzalez (ARG)/Diego Schwartzman (ARG)
John Peers (AUS)/Michael Venus (NZL) v Henri Kontinen (FIN)/Jan-Lennard Struff (GER)
Women’s doubles, second round
Asia Muhammad (USA)/Arina Rodionova (AUS) v  Timea Babos (HUN)/Zhang Shuai (CHN)
Daria Gavrilova’s professional comeback has started well, with the 26-year-old recording her third win of the week.
After qualifying for the main draw, Gavrilova scored a comprehensive 6-1 6-0 victory over world No.110-ranked Belgian Greet Minnen in the opening round.
The former world No.20, who is playing her first tournament in more than a year, faces France’s Clara Burel next.
Australia’s Lizette Cabrera is also into the second round at this ITF event, recording a 7-6(0) 3-6 6-2 win against France’s Diane Parry overnight.