Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the 2018 Roland Garros champions, stormed past reigning Australian Open finalists Max Purcell and Luke Saville 6-1, 6-2 in 66 minutes on Tuesday to reach the second round in Paris.
The Frenchmen have won all four Grand Slams together, triumphing on the terre battue two years ago. The sixth seeds won 85 per cent of their first-serve points and did not lose serve against the Aussies.
Another French pair, Benjamin Bonzi and Antoine Hoang, eliminated 10th seeds Raven Klaasen and Oliver Marach 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 after two hours and nine minutes. The wild cards are into the second round at their home Grand Slam for the second consecutive year.
The Frenchmen reached last year’s Montpellier final and won an ATP Challenger Tour event in Pau, France earlier this year. Bonzi and Hoang broke serve three times from 12 chances to advance.
In the next round they will play countrymen Adrian Mannarino and Benoit Paire, who defeated Frances Tiafoe and Jackson Withrow 7-5, 7-5. Bonzi and Hoang ousted Mannarino and Ugo Humbert in the first round of Roland Garros last year.
Reigning champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies got their title defence off to a good start with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Kazakhs Alexander Bublik and Mikhail Kukushkin. Other notable teams that advanced were 13th seeds Jamie Murray/Neal Skupski, 2019 finalists Jeremy Chardy/Fabrice Martin and 15th seeds Jurgen Melzer/Edouard Roger-Vasselin.