08:35 AM GMT November 07, 2013
Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo qualified for the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals from Group A after Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan beat Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer during Thursday’s night session.
Third seeds Dodig and Melo improved to 2-0 in round robin play after a 6-3, 3-6, 10-2 victory over eighth seeds and 2011 finalists Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski in 79 minutes.
But the Croatian-Brazilian team was forced to wait a further six hours to learn if they had done enough to contest a last four match on Sunday.
The Bryans, the top seeds and three-time former titlists, saved one match point to come through a tense affair against Qureshi and Rojer 7-6(3), 1-6, 14-12 in one hour and 39 minutes.
Dodig and Melo, who beat the Bryans 10-8 in a Match Tie-break on their season finale debut Tuesday, improved to a 25-17 match record on the season.
"It was great today again," Dodig told BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com. "It was a tight match again. Every match here is open. We had a bit more luck in the Match Tie-break and we took it. We are looking forward to the next match."
Matkowski was broken on a sudden death deuce point in the second game, when he found himself off balance and hit a forehand wide. The Polish Power earned their first game when Fyrstenberg held to 15 for 1-3. Dodig sealed the 28-minute set, 6-3, when Matkowski hit a forehand long at 40/30.
Fyrstenberg and Matkowski opened up a 3-1 lead in the second set, courtesy of breaking Dodig’s serve on a sudden death deuce point. Matkowski clawed back two break points in a tense fifth game. At 5-3, Matkowski held serve to 15 with a Fyrstenberg volley winner to take the first meeting between the teams to a Match Tie-break.
After two aces to open the 10-minute Match Tie-break, Dodig and Melo won three straight points for a 4-1 lead. They won six of the next seven points.
Said Dodig, "It is great to play on the court. The supporters applaud every point, they appreciate good tennis. It helps us to enjoy the matches. We will watch the match tonight. Our coaches will be making notes!"
During the evening session, the Bryans converted their fourth match point opportunity in the Match Tie-break.
Rojer came back from 0/40 in the eighth game of the 52-minute first set, but he had his serve broken on the sudden death deuce point. Qureshi and Rojer bounced straight back, breaking Bob Bryan’s serve. In the tie-break, the Bryans won five straight points for a 6-1 lead.
Qureshi and Rojer rolled into a 5-0 lead, while the Bryans won 13 points in the second set.
In the Match Tie-break, the Bryans could not convert three match point chances at 9-8, 10-9 and 11-10. Rojer hit a backhand crosscourt return wide on the only match point opportunity for the Pakistani-Dutch team at 12-11.
The Bryans have finished year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings for the ninth time in the past 11 years. The Americans have a 68-12 match record in 2013, going 11-3 in title matches.