Veteran Indian star Leander Paes, who missed the entire clay and the grass court season, made a winning return to competitive tennis with American partner Jamie Cerretani at the ATP Hall of Fame Open in Newport.
Paes, playing his first match since creating the Davis Cup world record in February for most number of wins in doubles, and Cerretani, defeated Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara 6-4 6-3 in their opening round of the USD 623,710 hard court event.
Paes and his partner are now up against giant-killers Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and Austin Crajicek, who toppled top seeds Nicholas Monroe and John-Patrick Smith 5-7 6-1 10-8. Jeevan has a good record playing against Paes, winning twice against the Indian legend this season — at Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune and at Dallas Challenger.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals was in-form Divij Sharan, who along with partner Jackson Withrow, seeded second, beat Martin Redlicki and Evan Zhu 6-3 6-3.
Third seeds Purav Raja and Ken Skupski also moved to the last-eight with a 7-5 6-4 win over Ruben Bemelmans and Denis Kudla.