MELBOURNE, Australia - No.5 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic took the first step on the road to their first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Thursday, defeating Natela Dzalamidze and Xenia Knoll, 7-5, 6-3.
Breaking serve four times against the Russian-Swiss duo, Babos and Mladenovic came from 0-2 down in the opener and made an early break in the second set stand up en route to a straight sets victory.
Overall, six seeded teams advanced to the second round in early doubles action on Thursday, led by the effort of Babos and Mladenovic.
Also advancing were No.6 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan, as the Sydney International champions came through a potentially tricky first round match against Kirsten Flipkens and Francesca Schiavone, 6-3, 6-2.
Xu and Dabrowski have won all eight sets they've played so far this seeing, as they did not drop a set en route to winning the Premier-level title in Sydney last week - their third as a team.
Shuko Aoyama and Yang Zhaoxuan, the No.11 seeds, rolled past Taylor Townsend and Renata Voracova, 6-4, 6-4, while No.15 seeds Abigail Spears and Alicja Rosolska survived a game effort from Alizé Cornet and Heather Watson to advance in three sets, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.
Rounding out the seeded winners were three Czechs and an American at the expense of four Australians. No.15 seeds Nicole Merichar and Kveta Peschke needed three sets to take out Aussie teenagers Jaimee Fourlis and Kimberly Burrell, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1, and No.16 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova took out Ajla Tomljanovic and Priscilla Hon, 7-5, 6-3.
More to come...