The years keep on rolling back for Kimiko Date-Krumm. The 42-year-old Japanese, who won her first Australian Open main draw singles match in 17 years on Tuesday, followed up with a first round win in the main draw women's doubles on Wednesday.
Date-Krumm and partner Arantxa Parra Santonja of Spain staged a hard-fought comeback against all-Spanish duo Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino and Lourdes Dominguez Lino, triumphing 4-6 6-3 6-2 in an hour and 34 minutes. Their reward is a likely meeting with second seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka, the Olympic silver medallists.
The biggest casualties of the first day of doubles were 10th seeds Sania Mirza and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The American-Indian pair had started 2013 in fine fashion, pictured beaming from cheek to cheek as they lifted the Brisbane International trophy in the first week of the season, having come from behind to beat Kveta Peschke and Anna-Lena Groenefeld. But their form did not follow them to Melbourne, as they were handed a disappointing straight sets loss in the first round.
Mirza and Mattek-Sands are regarded as one of the most effervescent pairings on the women’s doubles circuit, Mirza with 15 doubles titles to her name, Mattek-Sands with 11. But they came unstuck against the impetuous Spanish combination of Silvia Soler-Espinosa and Carla Suarez Navarro, who beat them 7-6(4) 6-3.
Ash Barty and Casey Dellacqua gained a brief silver lining after their singles losses with a solid 6-2 6-4 win over Polona Hercog and Francesca Schiavone, brushing aside the two experienced players in 59 minutes in front of a raucous home crowd. They will have their work cut out though against third seeds Lisa Raymond and Maria Kirilenko, who won their first Grand Slam match as a pairing, coming through 6-2 1-6 6-4 in slightly nervous fashion against Alicia Rosolska and Tamarine Tanasugarn.
Somewhat symmetrically, Raymond won the bronze medal in the mixed doubles at the Olympics, while Kirilenko won bronze in the women’s doubles.
There were also wins for top seeds Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani, in straight sets over Sofia Arvidsson and Johanna Larsson, and 15th seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai.
In the men’s doubles, the Bryan brothers, the top seeds and Australian Open 2012 finalists, had little difficulty in their opening counter, dealing with Olivier Marach and Horacio Zeballos in straight sets, while fifth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Daniel Nestor saw off the all-Spanish combination of Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Sixth seeds Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi and JJ Rojer swept past David Goffin and Simon Stadler in two, but 13th seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky were ousted by Eric Butorac and Paul Hanley. Seventh seeds Robert Lindstedt and Nenad Zimonjic, a new combination for 2013, were handed an easy pass when Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut retired at one-set all in their match.
The local crowds enjoyed a thrilling 3-6 6-2 7-6(5) win from wildcards Alex Bolt and Greg Jones over Colombian duo Alejandro Falla and Santiago Giraldo, while Yen-Hsun Lu and Go Sodea caused an upset with their three-set win over 14th seeds Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek.
But there was disappointment for the British contingent, as Auckland champion Colin Fleming, playing with Jamie Murray, exited Melbourne 7-5 7-5 at the hands of Michael Kohlmann and Jarkko Nieminen.
Finally, dark horses for the title perhaps, third seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez were put through the mill in their 6-2 3-6 7-6(7) win over Dustin Brown and Christopher Kas.