Australian Open: Chan/Murray survive against Klepac/Ram to progress

Top seeds Latisha Chan and Jamie Murray earned a narrow 4-6, 7-5, 11-9 victory against Andreja Klepac and Rajeev Ram in the first round Mixed Doubles competition. They will next play Australians Storm Sanders and Marc Polmans in the next round.

Unseeded pair Klepac/Ram strike first 

The match began with two holds of serve from Murray and Ram. In the third game, Chan found herself in a spot of bother as she and Murray were taken to the first deciding point of the match. However, Ram sent a volley just wide and the top seeds as the top seeds stayed infront at 2-1.

Klepac and Ram once again eased through their service game and applied further pressure to Chan and Murray. With the Taiwanese struggling atm, the Brit was on hand to dig her out of another slight hole by holding his serve for 3-2.

Andreja Klepac and Rajeev Ram high five after taking the first set (Photo: Twitter)
Andreja Klepac and Rajeev Ram high five after taking the first set (Photo: Twitter)

Ram and Klepac held easily and for the third game in a row, the top seeds were left battling. However, this time, the unseeded pair broke and then consolidated the break to lead 3-5. Murray and Chan then began to fight.

They held serve relatively comfortable and found themselves love-40 up on the Klepac serve with Murray hitting a low volley to the feet of the Slovenian. The unseeded pair dug in to save all three break point and earned themselves a set point on deciding point. They went with the serve and volley tactic which paid off as they won the set, 6-4.  

Top seeds fight back to level 

Chan and Murray began the set with an impressive hold of serve to love. The next three service games went with the server as all four players held serve at the beginning of the set, 2-2. Chan and Murray also held serve in the fifth game.

The 28-year-old Taiwanese then had a couple moments of brilliance, hitting a backhand winner to take the game to deciding point then striking a forehand winner down the middle to break for 4-2. However, Klepac and Ram struck back immediately with the 33-year-old American forehand winner.

He then held serve to love to bring the second set level again at 4-4. Having turned the set around in the last couple games, the pair of Klepac and Ram were dominating and earned triple break points. An ace followed by a forehand winner from Murray sent the game to a deciding point. The 31-year-old Slovenian struck a wild backhand error as the top seeds survived a tricky game to go 5-4 ahead.

The next two games went with the server and the unseeded pair were left serving to stay in the set down 6-5. Up 30-15, Murray played an excellent lob winner to earn two break/set points. Ram's serve got he and Klepac out of trouble momentarily as the 31-year-old Briton hit an overhead winner to win the set 7-5. 

Murray and Chan survive to progress into round two 

The pair of Klepac and Ram got off to a flyer in the match tiebreaker. They got the mini-break in the opening point and then took a 1-4 lead, again breaking the top seeds. But Chan and Murray did what they have done throughout the match and fought back, breaking twice for 3-4.

They held serve in the next two points as they edged out 5-4 ahead. Ram held his serve to make it 5-5 but Murray got the better of Klepac in the rally to grab the break but lost serve the next two games as momentum switched once more 6-7.

Andreja Klepac and Rajeev Ram shake hands with Latisha Chan and Jamie Murray after their encounter (Photo: Twitter)
Andreja Klepac and Rajeev Ram shake hands with Latisha Chan and Jamie Murray (Photo: Twitter)

Murray then had to adjust his body, hitting the ball from near his feet as he and Chan broke back to draw level at 7-7. The next four points went on serve as the match reached its near conclusion at 9-9.

Ram's attempted pickup went just wide as a matchpoint went the way of the top seeds. At the first time of asking, Chan won the point as she and Murray won a very tight match to progress into round two.