Austria's Dominic Thiem and Portuguese Joao Sousa blew a great chance to pick up a surprise win in their doubles debut at the Barcelona Open. Thiem and Sousa blow two match points against No. 1 seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo as they lost 6-7 (8) 7-6 (5) 10-7.
Thiem and Sousa broke Kubot and Melo twice in a row to overturn a 5-2 deficit and take a 6-5 lead before they failed to serve out for the opener. Thiem and Sousa then blew five set points in the tie-break before they converted their sixth to clinch a tight opener.
Kubot and Melo saved two match points in the 10th game of the second set before they converted their first set point in the tie-break to force a decider. The teams were tied at 7-7 after the opening 14 points of the match tie-break before Kubot and Melo went on to win three points in a row to earn a win.
Kubot and Melo won 83 percent of their first serve points, converted 2-of-2 of their break point chances and saved 5-of-7 of Thiem and Sousa's break point opportunities in just over two hours of action. Meanwhile, Japanese Kei Nishikori and Argentina's Diego Schwartzman fell just short of stunning No.
4 seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. Marach and Pavic, the 2018 Australian Open champions, came from a set down to beat Nishikori and Schwartzman 6-7 (5) 6-4 10-5. Nishikori and Schwartzman recovered from a break down and saved a set point in the 12th game before they won the tie-break to claim a tight opener.
Nishikori and Schwartzman led 4-2 after the opening six games of the second set before Marach and Pavic won four games in a row to force a decider. Marach and Pavic started the match tie-break with a 3-0 lead and never looked back as they dominated the decider to complete a big comeback in an hour and 46 minutes of play.
Marach and Pavic converted 5-of-11 of their break point chances and saved 3-of-7 of Nishikori and Schwartzman's break point opportunities during the match.