Melo/Kubot Complete QF Field
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo were the only seeded team to advance on Thursday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, as two other veteran pairs fell in straight sets. Melo and Kubot, the second seeds, beat Austrian wild cards Jurgen Melzer and Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-4 in 66 minutes.
The Polish-Brazilian duo arrived in Monaco having won just one of three previous matches at the ATP Masters 1000 tournament. But Kubot and Melo are through to the quarter-finals without dropping a set.
They have found great rhythm in the past month, making the final of the BNP Paribas Open and the semi-finals of the Miami Open presented by Itau. Kubot and Melo began the week in sixth place in the ATP Doubles Race To London, and they can climb as high as third if they lift the trophy.
Against Melzer and Thiem, Kubot and Melo did well to consistently earn chances in return games, converting on three of 11 break chances in the match. The highest-seeded pair remaining also won an impressive 79 per cent of second-serve points (11/14).
While Kubot and Melo faced little difficulty, fourth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah and sixth seeds Henri Kontinen/John Peers were upset.
Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner and Russian Daniil Medvedev (also a singles quarter-finalist) ousted 2018 Nitto ATP Finals qualifiers Cabal and Farah 6-2, 6-4. Entering the tournament, Demoliner had lost four consecutive matches at all levels with three different partners. This is the second time he has partnered Medvedev (2018 Brisbane, l. first round).
Argentine Diego Schwartzman and Portuguese Joao Sousa beat Kontinen and Peers 6-4, 6-3. This is the first time they have competed together. Before this event, the pair combined for a 110-172 tour-level doubles record, with neither player winning a title. Sousa reached the Rome final last year with Pablo Carreno Busta.
In other action, Moldovan Radu Albot and Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili defeated Hungarian Marton Fucsovics and Argentine Guido Pella 6-1, 6-7(7), 10-6. Albot and Basilashvili won 50 per cent (4/8) of their return points in the Match Tie-break to triumph.