Austria's Jurgen Melzer and Dominic Thiem have won their Monte Carlo Masters doubles opener as they beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber and Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-5. Wildcards Melzer and Thiem were drawn to meet Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov in the first round but the rising Canadian stars pulled out of the doubles event.
Melzer and Thiem got the first break of the match in the ninth game before they served out for the opener in the following game. Kohlschreiber and Verdasco were on the verge of forcing a decider but blew a 5-3 second-set lead as Melzer and Thiem won four games in a row to steal the set and claim a win.
Melzer and Thiem won 83 percent of their first serve points, converted 3-of-6 of their break point chances and saved 1-of-2 of Kohlschreiber and Verdasco's break point opportunities in an hour and 16 minutes of play.
They will play next against either Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez or Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo. Meanwhile, Belgian David Goffin and French Lucas Pouille have concluded their Monte Carlo doubles campaign as they suffered a straight-set defeat against Brazil's Marcelo Demoliner and Russian Daniil Medvedev 7-5 6-3.
Goffin and Pouille recovered from an early break but lost their serve in the crucial moment of the first set Demoliner and Medvedev broke them in the 12th game to claim the opener. Demoliner and Medvedev continued their run a tthe beginning of the second set as they got off to a comfortable 5-0 lead before they finished the job a couple of games later.
Demoliner and Medvedev realized 4-of-8 of their break point chances and saved 4-of-6 of Goffin and Pouille's break point opportunities in just over an hour of action.