Leander Paes made a winning start at the mixed doubles event of the ongoing Australian Open as he partnered Jele Ostapenko to reach the second round, while Rohan Bopanna and Nadiia Kichenok made it to the third round on Sunday.
The 2017 French Open champion, Paes and Ostapenko rallied from behind to win their opening-round match 6-7(4) 6-3 10-6 in about an hour and 27 minutes at the 1573 Arena.
They will next face American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Briton Jamie Murray, who knocked out top seeds Marcelo Melo and Barbora Strycova 3-6 6-4 10-7 in their opening round.
Bopanna and his Ukrainian partner Kichenok, on the other hand, defeated the duo of Nicole Melichar and Bruno Soares 6-4, 7-6(4) in straight sets.
Earlier on the day, defending men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic eased past Diego Schwartzman in straight sets in the fourth round. Djokovic defeated his 14th seed opponents 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday to book a quarterfinal clash with Milos Raonic.
The seven-time Australian Open champion’s serving stats are not similarly rampant from his third-round match where he defeated Japanese player Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. There was hardly any difference between him and Schwartzman in the opening set.
But Djokovic stepped up and broke Scwartzan to go 5-3 up which set the tone of the match. En route to his victory, he won 75 percent of his first-serve points and converted four of eight break points as he scored 38 winners to play his 11th quarterfinal in Melbourne.
Awaiting the world number two in the next round, 32nd seed Raonic won 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 against Marin Cilic. Raonic is yet to win a match against the Serbian in nine of their previous ATP encounters.
(With inputs from PTI)