Bopanna-Mergea enter Cincinnati Masters’ quarters

Cincinnati, Aug 21 (IANS) Indo-Romanian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea earned a hard fought win in three sets to enter the men’s doubles quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters on the outdoor hard courts of the Lindner Family Tennis Center here.

The fifth seeds took an hour and 29 minutes to move past French combine of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 1-6, 7-6(5), 13-11 on Thursday. They will next take on Croatian-Brazilian second seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo on Friday for a place in the semifinals.

Bopanna and Mergea had a disastrous start as they were broken twice in the first set. They took time to get into rhythm as Herbert and Mahut won six of the seven games played in the set.

However, the seeded pair came back strongly to win a breakpoint in the second set. Herbert and Mahut also won a breakpoint to push the set into the tie-breaker where the fifth seeds proved a tad bit better to clinch it 7-5.

It turned out to be an extremely close contest in the super tie-break as neither pair earned a mini service break. However, just when it mattered, Bopanna and Mergea got the break and entered the last eight stage.

Leander Paes and his Swiss partner Stan Wawrinka will take on Spanish-Belarusian pair of Feliciano Lopez and Max Mirnyi in the quarterfinals on Friday. Indo-Swiss women’s doubles top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis will also play their quarters against wild card American pair of Christina Mchale and CoCo Vandeweghe.

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