Bryans Save 1 M.P. To Advance To QFs

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, the recent Miami Open presented by Itaú champions, had made at least the semi-finals at five of their seven tournaments this season. Yet the five-time Monte-Carlo champions were on the brink of defeat Thursday against wild cards Romain Arneodo and Hugo Nys in their opener at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

But after the left-handed twin, Bob, beat a net-rushing Arneodo with a powerful forehand to save match point in the Match Tie-break, the Americans advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-7(5), 6-0, 11-9 victory. The fourth seeds, who turn 40 on 29 April, are looking to win a third title at the Monte-Carlo Country Club since 2014. They will next face defending champion Pablo Cuevas and his partner, Marcel Granollers, who ousted 2016 victors Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 7-5, 7-6(4).

Perhaps the most dramatic match of the day came when Rohan Bopanna (Cuevas’ championship-winning partner last year) and Edouard Roger-Vasselin saved three match points to beat No. 7 seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 3-6, 6-4, 11-9.

Bopanna saved the first match point while trailing 9/6 in the Match Tie-break with a strong overhead from the baseline before erasing the second with an ace down the ‘T’. Murray then double-faulted twice in a row and on the Indian-French pair’s first match point, the Scot knocked a forehand volley into the net.

Bopanna/Roger-Vasselin next play Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, who defeated second seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers in an epic 34-point Match Tie-break Wednesday.

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