Rohan Bopanna and his Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop upset second-seeded Croatian duo of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in a thrilling three-setter to progress to the men's doubles quarterfinals of the French Open in Paris on Saturday.
Bopanna and Middelkoop, 16th seeds, saved five match points during their 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (10) win over Mektic and Pavic in two hours 33 minutes.
There were no break of serves in the first two sets. However, the second seeds eventually broke the Indo-Dutch pair in the opening game of the deciding set and had the chance to serve for the match at 40-30 in the tenth game but Bopanna and Middelkoop won three points in a row to make it 5-5.
At 6-6, the match entered a 10-point super tie break in which the Croatian duo again had three match points at 9-6. The 16th-seeded Indo-Dutch pair reeled off three consecutive points to restore parity before Mektic and Pavic earned their fifth match point opportunity at 10-9, but like they had done on the previous four, Bopanna and Middelkoop held their nerve to keep themselves in the match.
Trailing 9-10 in the super tiebreak, Bopanna put in two perfect first serves. While Mektic's return on the first one went long, Pavic's return on the second landed into the net. Pavic served wide to Middelkoop's left to save the match point but put the volley wide on the Dutchman's return.
Later in the day, Bopanna, along with Slovenia's Andreja Klepac, began his mixed doubles campaign with a 6-1, 6-4 over Great Britain's Lloyd Glasspool and USA's Asia Muhammad. In 2017, Bopanna and Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski had won the mixed doubles title at French Open.
In the men's doubles quarterfinals, Bopanna and Middelkoop will face Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara of Finland.
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