Robson through in doubles, Delgado out.
By Philip James
Laura Robson/Lisa Raymond def Svetlana Kuznetsova/Flavia Pennetta (w) 6-7(2), 6-4, 10-7; Rome
Nicholas Monroe / Simon Ger Stadler def Jamie Delgado/ Samuel Groth 7-5, 6-1; Bordeaux
This week on the clay of the Internationali BNL d’Italia in Rome, Robson was again partnering doubles legend Lisa Raymond.
Russian Kuznetsova is a singles specialist ranked just above Robson but also inside the top 100 in doubles while her Italian partner is 37rd in the world in doubles.
Raymond, who has been helping the young Brit since she split with her coach earlier this month, has 79 career doubles titles and is ranked 11th in the world.
The first set was nip and tuck with both sides breaking twice but Kuznetsova and Pennetta ran away with the ensuing tie-break, winning it 7-2 to take the first set.
In the second set, Robson and Raymond upped their service game, eradicating the double faults of the first set and dropping only one point on their second serve.
The wildcards did manage one break, but dropped serve twice and Robson and Raymond one the set 6-4 to level the match and force a champion’s tie-break.
Robson and Raymond fared better than they did in the first set breaker, and winning 55% of service points helped them take the decider 10-7 and with it the match in just over an hour and a half.
In round two they will face Dominika Cibulkova and Monica Niculescu who beat the eighth seeds in round one.
Robson and Raymond will be hoping to replicate their run at the Miami Sony Open in March where they reached the final.
Compatriot Jamie Delgado fared less well on the red stuff, playing at the BNP Paribas Primrose Bordeaux Challenger.
It all looked to be going so well in the first set, a break up at 5-3 with Groth serving for the set, but from there it all fell apart for the pair.
At deciding point on deuce Groth double faulted to lose the break advantage and their opponents were soon level with a hold.
The turnaround was come completed as Delgado also double faulted at 0-40 and Monroe and Stadler made it four games in a row to win the first set.
Monroe and Stadler then dominated the second set, winning all but two points on serve while breaking three times.