Cabal/Farah Take Out Defending Champs Mektic/Pavic

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah surged to their first semi-final of the 2022 season by halting Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title defence in the quarter-finals on Friday.

A break in each set was enough for the Colombian duo to secure a 6-4, 6-4 victory on Court des Princes as they reached a third semi-final at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Cabal and Farah came into Monte Carlo with a 5-7 record for the year but the former top-ranked pairing have looked back to their best in Monaco this week. They offered up no break point opportunities to Mektic and Pavic and won 81 per cent (30/37) of points behind their first delivery in the match, according to Infosys ATP Stats.

It was the second tour-level meeting between the two teams, with Cabal and Farah also defeating the Croatians in straight sets in the final of the 2021 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The Colombian duo now faces either eighth seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer or wild card pairing Marcelo Melo and Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals.

Top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury stayed on track in their bid for a maiden title in Monte Carlo with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 win over Tim Puetz and Michael Venus.

The American-British pairing is chasing a second Masters 1000 title after lifting the trophy at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in Toronto in 2021. The world’s top-ranked team seeks to celebrate Joe Salisbury’s first tournament at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings with the Monte Carlo crown, which would be the pair’s maiden tour-level title on clay.

Their next opponents will be Rohan Bopanna and Jamie Murray, who held their nerve to come through two dramatic tie-breaks and upset third seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos earlier on Friday.

The Indian-British team won Match Tie-breaks in its opening two rounds in Monte Carlo and proved their mettle once again in the quarter-finals against four-time Masters 1000 champions Granollers and Zeballos. Bopanna and Murray saved two set points in each Tie-break to clinch a 7-6(8), 7-6(8) victory and book a semi-final appointment with the top seeds.

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