Longtime doubles partners Rohan Bopanna and Denis Shapovalov reached their second ATP Tour semi-final in the past five months with a victory at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Wednesday.
Frequent partners since 2019, the unseeded duo also reached the semi-finals in St. Petersburg in October. In Doha, they got back to that stage with an efficient 7-6(7), 6-4 win over Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen. Finalists in Stuttgart in 2019, the Indian/Canadian duo is seeking a first tour-level title.
Bopanna/Shapovalov converted their only two break points of the match — one in each set — and recovered after failing to serve out the opening stanza. They took a tight tie-break on their third set point, then saw home an early advantage in the second.
Across the net in the semi-finals will be Mackenzie McDonald and Botic van de Zandschulp, who took out top seeds (and the Top 2 doubles players in the world) Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, 6-2, 3-6, 10-7.
Fourth seeds Neal Skupski and Wesley Koolhof are the only seeded pair in the semis; they advanced with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Nikoloz Basilashvili and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Their semi-final opponents will be Andrey Golubev and Fabrice Martin, 3-6, 6-4, 10-7 winners over Alexander Bublik and Marton Fucsovics.
Gaston/Rune upset Herbert/Mahut in Marseille
There will be no home trophy for the top-seeded pair at the Open 13 Provence, after France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut were turned back in the opening round by Hugo Gaston and Holger Rune, 6-4, 6-4. The 2021 Nitto ATP Finals doubles champions recovered an early break in the second set, but were immediately broken back as their French/Danish opponents advanced to the quarter-finals.
The other two seeded teams in Wednesday’s Marseille action did advance. Second seeds Raven Klaasen and Ben McLachlan got their week off to a strong start, as did third seeds Matwe Middelkoop and Andreas Mies, who went the distance in a win over 6-1, 6-7(1), 10-8 win over Hunter Reese and Sem Verbeek.
Top seeds Arevalo/Rojer start strong in Delray
Fresh off their Dallas Open title, Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer kept rolling at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com. The Salvadoran/Dutch duo did not drop a set in four Dallas wins, and they extended the streak to 10 straight sets won with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela and Max Schnur in their Delray opener.
The Delray second seeds also advanced in straights, as Austin Krajicek and Hugo Nys beat Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, 7-6(11), 7-5. After saving five set points in the marathon tie-break, the American/Monegasque duo won it on their fourth set point, including one on the return at 5-6.