© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Top seeds and defending champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut lost in the Australian Open first round on Friday.

Defending Champions Herbert/Mahut Beaten In Australian Open First Round

Second seeds Kubot/Melo advance in straight sets

Simone Bolelli and Benoit Paire ended the 11-match winning streak of top-seeded Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the defending champions at the Australian Open, on Friday.

The Italian/French pair knocked out Herbert and Mahut, who completed the career Grand Slam at Melbourne Park 12 months ago, 6-4, 7-6(3) in 78 minutes for a place in the second round against Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.

Bolelli and Paire led by a set and 3-1 before Herbert and Mahut won five of the next seven games to take a 6-5 lead in the second set. Bolelli and Paire won the first five points in the tie-break against a team who ended the 2019 season with trophies at the Rolex Paris Masters (d. Khachanov/Rublev) and Nitto ATP Finals (d. Klaasen/Venus).

Second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, with a 13-10 record in tour-level finals, opened their campaigns with a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 victory against Argentines Guillermo Duran/Diego Schwartzman in 60 minutes. Kubot won the 2014 title with Robert Lindstedt. The Polish/Brazilian team will next face Santiago Gonzalez and Ken Skupski.

Watch Live

Skupski Muray Australian Open 2020 Friday

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski kicked off their Australian Open campaign in style on Friday. The No. 14 seeds navigated a tricky first-round test against Hubert Hurkacz/Vasek Pospisil to prevail 6-4, 6-4. Murray looks for a second crown at this event after prevailing in 2016 (w/Soares).

Aussie wild cards Max Purcell/Luke Saville scored a 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4 upset over eighth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau to reach the third round. Purcell/Saville have won seven ATP Challenger Tour doubles titles together in the past 12 months.

You May Also Like: Aussie Assault: Dominant Duo Purcell, Saville Take Aim At 2020

Marcelo Arevalo/Jonny O'Mara saved two match points to score a second-round victory over No. 12 seeds Jurgen Melzer/Edouard Roger-Vasselin 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(11). Arevalo/O'Mara fought back from 3-5 in the second set, then saved match points at 8/9 and 10/11 before advancing in two hours and 32 minutes.

Other seeded teams lived up to their top billing to in second-round action. Fourth seeds Ivan Dodig/Filip Polasek eased past Chris Guccione/Matt Reid 6-3, 6-4, while No. 10 seeds Mate Pavic/Bruno Soares defeated Divij Sharan/Artem Sitak 7-6(2), 6-3. Pavic captured his maiden Grand Slam crown two years ago in Melbourne (w/Marach).

Watch Live