Tokyo: Top seeded pair of Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek had to work hard to down unseeded rivals in Filip Polasek and Julian Knowle in the opening round of the ATP Japan Open, here on Thursday.

The Indo-Czech pair defeated the Slovakian-Austrian pair 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 17 minutes in the USD 1,280,565 hard court event.

The two sides fought tooth and nail, producing a thrilling game of tennis.

Paes and Stepanek will next take on British brother pair of Andy and Jamie Murray, who rallied to beat Eric Butorac and Jarko Nieminen 5-7, 6-3, 10-4 in their opening round.


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