John Isner and Jack Sock’s BNP Paribas Open title defence got off to the perfect start Friday when they clawed past third seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-7(6), 7-5, 10-7.
The Americans have fond memories in Indian Wells as a team, triumphing in 2018 and again last season when they dropped just one set en route to the title. Back in California this week, they saved all three break points they faced to defeat the 2022 Roland Garros champions after two hours and two minutes.
“If I failed to serve it out at 9/6 and 9/7 and we went on to lose the match, that would be tough,” said Isner, who hit a scorching forehand winner on match point. “You want to win for the crowd, so there was a lot of pressure. That was one of the better forehands I have hit.”
Isner and Sock will next meet Kevin Krawietz and Fabrice Martin.
Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini defeated eighth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-7(1), 6-4, 10-3. The Italians will next face Austin Krajicek and Mackenzie McDonald after the Americans defeated Australian Open champions Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler 6-3, 6-1.
Jamie Murray and Michael Venus upset sixth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-3, 6-4. They will next play Daniel Evans and John Peers.