Melbourne:Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi fought off strong resistance from their opponents to win their respective doubles first round matches in straight sets in the Australian Open on Thursday.
Paes and his Australian partner Paul Hanley, seeded fifth, had to dig deep to their vast reserve of experience to down the duo of Luis Horna of Peru and Stefan Koubek of Austria 7-6 (2) 7-6 (5) in a see-saw battle lasting one hour and 48 minutes.
Sixth-seeded Bhupathi and Mark Knowles of Bahamas were also stretched to the limit in the first set. However, they broke their opponents' serve once in the second set to register a 7-6 (10) 6-4 victory over Russo-German pair of Mikhail Youzhny and Mischa Zverev in a one hour 39 minutes contest.
Bhupathi and Knowles were never in their grooves and committed six double faults to their opponents' one besides converting only two of the nine break points that came their way.
In the second round, Paes-Hanley will meet the Indo-American duo of Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram who yesterday beat British-American combine of James Auckland and Sam Querrey.
The Indo-Bahamian pair now runs into the Swiss-Belgian duo of Yves Allegro and Kristof Vliegen who had beaten Israel's Harel Levy and Dudi Sela in the first round.