Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev made a strong start to their Miami Open presented by Itau campaign on Thursday when they eliminated sixth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Lukasz Kubot 6-4, 6-2.
The unseeded pair saved seven of the eight break points they faced to record a 69-minute victory on Court 6. Khachanov and Rublev are chasing their maiden team title in Miami, following two runner-up finishes at ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. The Russians advanced to the championship match at this event in 2018 (l. to Bryan/Bryan) and also reached the 2019 Rolex Paris Masters final (l. to Herbert/Mahut).
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Tim Puetz and Alexander Zverev also eliminated seeded opposition on Thursday. The Germans converted four of their seven break points to beat third seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-2, 6-4.
Taylor Fritz and John Isner marked their team debut with a 7-5, 6-3 win against Alexander Bublik and Adrian Mannarino. The Americans will meet second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic or countrymen Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey in the second round.