Swiss Stan Wawrinka and rising American star Frances Tiafoe enjoyed a triumphant team debut at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha as they saw off Russia's Alexander Bublik and Andrey Rublev 6-3 7-6 (6) in their opener at the event.
Though they had never played together before, Wawrinka and Tiafoe made a strong start to the match as they claimed two early breaks to take a comfortable 5-2 first set lead. Wawrinka, 34, and 21-year-old Tiafoe failed to serve out for the first set in the ninth game but kept their focus as they earned their third break of the set in the following game to take the opener.
After allowing three breaks of serve in the first set, the Russians served much better in the second set as they lost no service games in the second set and also saved a match point in the 12th game to force a tie-break.
Bublik and Rublev got off to an early 3-0 tie-break lead and later had a match point at 6-5 but failed to convert on their chances as Wawrinka and Tiafoe realized their second match point to get the job done in two sets.
Wawrinka and Tiafoe converted 3-of-4 of their break point chances and saved 3-of-4 of Bublik and Rublev's break point opportunities en route to setting up a quarterfinal against third-seeded Rohan Bopanna and Wesley Koolhof.