Second seeds Nenad Zimonjic and Michael Llodra won a dramatic Group B match against fifth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 7-6(6), 6-3 on Tuesday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Llodra and Zimonjic, who lost their first match to Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski on Sunday, improved to a 46-15 match record on the season. They have a 4-4 record in ATP World Tour finals this year.
The first set went with serve with routine holds to 4-4, when three mis-timed volleys put Llodra under pressure on serve. Llodra and Zimonjic saved one break point at 30/40, but, at sudden death deuce, Bopanna ripped a backhand winner down the line past Zimonjic. In the next game, Qureshi over-cooked a smash long of the baseline at set point, 40/30. In the sudden-death decider, Llodra hit a backhand winner down the line past Bopanna for 5-5.
Bopanna came under pressure on serve at 5-6, despite leading at one point 40/15. On sudden-death deuce, Bopanna hit a body serve to Llodra, which the Frenchman could not return. The set was decided on a tie-break. Llodra and Zimonjic took a 2-0 lead, before Bopanna and Qureshi won six straight points to 6-2.
Three set point chances were squandered, then, Bopanna and Qureshi lot their concentration. At 6-5 there was an unusual occurrence, when Bopanna hit a lob forehand that went inside the video scoreboard above the Centre Court. Zimonjic thought he and Llodra had won the point, but the ball dropped into play and Llodra fired a smash winner. After consultation with the umpire and the ATP Supervisor, the point was replayed.
Llodra and Zimonjic completed their streak of six straight points to win the 50-minute set, when Bopanna hit a forehand volley long.
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