Murray/Soares Back On Track

Third seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares were clinical on serve Friday to reach the Rolex Monte-Carlo semi-finals for the second time as a team, defeating Argentine-Portuguese duo Diego Schwartzman and Joao Sousa 7-5, 6-2.

Entering this ATP Masters 1000 tournament, Murray and Soares were searching for their best form, having lost four of their previous five tour-level matches together. But after battling through two tight Match Tie-breaks in the first two rounds, the British-Brazilian team defeated Schwartzman and Sousa in 63 minutes.

Murray and Soares made 80 per cent of their first serves, winning 87 per cent of those points to cruise through their service games. The veteran team did not face a break point in the match, breaking Schwartzman and Sousa on all three of their opportunities.

In the semi-finals, Murray and Soares will face Robin Haase and Wesley Koolhof. The Dutchmen ousted Moldovan Radu Albot and Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 7-5 , also in 63 minutes.

Haase and Koolhof have only competed together once before, losing in the first round at ’s-Hertogenbosch last year. But they have played well, breaking serve four times on Friday. Koolhof reached the Miami final alongside reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.

In the only other doubles quarter-final of the day, seventh seeds Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor upset second seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-3, 7-5 in one hour and 21 minutes. This is the first time Mektic and Skugor are playing together since Basel in 2017.

They will next play Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Horacio Zeballos, who advanced via walkover.

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