Competitive Hewitt Falls Just Short in Doubles Return

Dimitrov/Harrison advance to second round

Lleyton Hewitt made a surprise return to the ATP World Tour at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp on Tuesday.

Teaming up with compatriot Jordan Thompson in doubles, his first tour-level event since 2016 Wimbledon, the Australian pairing lost a tight first-round encounter as Grigor Dimitrov and Ryan Harrison emerged victorious 6-3, 1-6, 10-5. Dimitrov and Harrison were clinical down the stretch, managing to win five of eight points on return in the Match Tie-break.

The Bulgarian-American duo will next meet another Australian team, as Nick Kyrgios and Matt Reid rallied from a set down to defeat fourth seeds Marcus Daniell and Dominic Inglot 4-6, 6-1, 10-7.

No decider was needed for Leonardo Mayer and Horacio Zeballos who took just 52 minutes to race into the second round. The all-Argentine team punished their opponents Diego Schwartzman and Mischa Zverev on every second serve return (12/12) on their way to a comfortable 6-2, 6-0 victory.

At the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, the seeded pairs in action moved through with little difficulty.

Second seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who in 2017 won the title in Stockholm and advanced to the Wimbledon final, cruised past two-time Doha winner Daniel Nestor and his partner, Philipp Oswald, 6-2, 6-2 in their 51-minute season opener. The Austrian-Croatian pair did not face a break point in the match.

Ivan Dodig and Fernando Verdasco, the fourth seeds, were broken twice but still beat 2007 Doha champion Nenad Zimonjic and his partner, Florin Mergea, 6-1, 6-4. 

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