Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had to strain their sinews before the Indian duo, along with their respective partners, cleared the opening round hurdle in the men’s doubles event of the Miami Masters here.

Third seeds Paes and his Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy toiled in the middle for nearly one-and-half hours before eking out a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Ross Hutchins and Jordan Kerr.

They now face the unseeded Thomaz Belucci-Marc Lopez pair who struggled to down the Christopher Kas-Dick Norman duo 3-6, 6-3, 10-8.

Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi also overcame a tricky test against 2005 Wimbledon champions Stephen Huss and Wesley Moodie before they carved out a 6-4, 7-5 victory in 76 minutes.

The fourth seeded Indo-Belarussian pair now face the John Isnor-Sam Querry duo, who toiled to get past Johan Branstrom and Jean-Jullen Rojer 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 in yet another intense opening round match.

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