Third seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and his Bahamian partner Mark Knowles opened their campaign at the ATP World Tour Finals on a resounding note, notching up a straight-set win over debutants Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak in their first group A doubles match here.
Bhupathi and Knowles defeated the Czech-Slovak duo 6-3 6-3, losing just 12 points on serve throughout the 70-minute encounter and converting four of seven break points in a dominant display in the first face off between the two teams.
"It was a very solid performance. Basically a little tentative in the beginning, but once we got a few returns going I think it was a very solid match. We knew we had to play solid tennis to be able to beat them. Just want to keep it up for the next few days," said Bhupathi.
Bhupathi felt the Indo-Bahamian pair's experience as a team made all the difference in the match.
"I think together we've played this tournament 15, 20 times; and these guys, it's their first Masters. We knew if we came out of the blocks firing, the occasion possibly could get to them. I think it definitely plays a small role," he said.