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Butorac-Rojer Move Into Qualifying Position For London

Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer edged Kevin Anderson and John Isner 7-6(3), 7-6(2) in a tight semi-final encounter Saturday at the Valencia Open 500 to move into qualifying position for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. "Today was probably the biggest match of our season," Butorac declared to ATPWorldTour.com. "We knew the No. 8 spot was on the line and we faced probably the two biggest servers in the tournament. We couldn't convert a break point, but played perfect in the tie-breaks."

Though they were unable to capitlise on any of their seven break point opportunities, Butorac and Rojer took advantage of early mini-break leads in each tie-break to advance in one hour and 26 minutes.

Butorac and Rojer, seeking their fourth title of the year, entered the week in ninth place in the battle for London, but knocked off No. 8 Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski in a first-round meeting, and have now overtaken the Poles by virtue of their victory over Anderson and Isner. The unseeded pair can further their qualification chances with a title win over No. 1 seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. "Tomorrow's match will also be huge for us as it could give us a bigger lead and it's a chance to win an ATP World Tour 500 event," said Butorac.

The Bryans reached their 11th tour-level final of the season as they finished strongly to dismiss Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares 7-6(2), 6-1 in 67 minutes. The American twins are bidding to win their eighth title of the year, and second in as many weeks after victory at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna (d. Mirnyi-Nestor).

At the Swiss Indoors Basel, top seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic advanced to their eighth final of the season, defeating Ivan Dodig and Viktor Troicki 6-2, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals. Llodra and Zimonjic won 84 per cent of their first service points and broke their unseeded opponents three times to claim victory in one hour and 14 minutes.

Ranked No. 2 in the 2011 ATP Doubles Teams Rankings, Llodra and Zimonjic have won nine of their past 10 matches, and are chasing their fourth trophy of the year after capturing titles at Washington, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Montreal and Beijing.

The French-Serbian duo have secured their place in London and will look to pad their lead over third-ranked Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, who they’ll play in Sunday’s final after the second seeds defeated Belgian pairing Xavier Malisse and Dick Norman 6-2, 6-2. The 39-year-old Nestor will contest the Basel final for the sixth time. He won the title in 2003 and 2006 with Mark Knowles, and triumphed in 2009 with Zimonjic.

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