Australian Open: Indian pair Nedunchezhiyan and Balaji reach second round
Indian pair Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan and N Sriram Balaji reached the second round of the 2023 Australian Open after defeating fifth seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek. The Indian duo won 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-4, having secured a last-minute passage into the main draw. Nedunchezhiyan and Balaji will next face French pair Jeremy Chady and Fabrice Martin. Here are the key stats.
How they qualified for Australian Open main draw
Jeevan and Balaji were ninth on the alternates list for the Australian Open. Some of the pairs above them received wildcards, while others withdrew from the main draw. The Indian pair was one spot away from making the Australian Open main draw. Brazilian duo Mackenzie McDonald and Marcelo Melo pulled out of the doubles, making way for the Indian pair.
Runners-up at Maharashtra Open
Nedunchezhiyan and Balaji were the runners-up at the fifth edition of the Maharashtra Open earlier this year. Fourth-seeded duo Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen beat the Indians in the final. Notably, the Indian pair won that tournament without dropping a set. In November 2022, Nedunchezhiyan and Balaji reached the semi-finals at the US Challenger Champaign. Hans Hach and Robert Galloway defeated the duo.
It was a leap of faith: Nedunchezhiyan
"It was a leap of faith. It's a lot of belief in what we can do," Nedunchezhiyan told Sony Sports Network after the first-round win. He added, "I just wanted to give it a shot because I would hate [not] to be here and know that some team that's not combining as high as us gets into a Grand Slam."