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Murrays To Face Top Seeds In Tokyo QFs

Doubles 2012

Murrays© Getty ImagesAndy and Jamie Murray are the defending champions in Tokyo.

Andy Murray and Jamie Murray opened their title defence at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships on Thursday in Tokyo with a hard-fought 5-7, 6-3, 10-4 victory over left-handers Eric Butorac and Jarkko Nieminen. The British duo won their second ATP World Tour team title last year in Tokyo (d. Cermak/Polasek).

The Murrays will take on top seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in the quarter-finals after the Australian Open champions defeated Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek 6-4, 6-4 in 77 minutes. The Indian/Czech duo converted four of their seven break points.

The 39-year-old Paes won the Tokyo title in 2000 with former long-term partner Mahesh Bhupathi. He and Stepanek are reuniting for the first time since finishing runners-up at the US Open (l. to Bryans) last month.

Fourth seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares continued their good form as they advanced to the quarter-finals with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Benoit Paire of France and Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka. Peya and Soares triumphed last week at the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur (d. Fleming/Hutchins).

Second seeds Tomas Berdych and Nenad Zimonjic were granted a place in the semi-finals when their opponents, Philipp Petzschner and Janko Tipsarevic withdrew, with Tipsarevic citing breathing difficulties.

At the China Open in Beijing, Max Mirnyi was denied his 600th match win as he and Daniel Nestor were defeated by Carlos Berlocq and Denis Istomin 1-6, 6-3, 12-10 in the first round. The second seeds won three points more than their Argentine/Uzbekistani opponents, but fell in the Match Tie-break in 70 minutes.

Read Mirnyi’s Plans For The Future

Top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan cruised into the semi-finals with a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov and Lukasz Kubot. The Americans broke serve three times from seven opportunities and won 84 per cent of points behind their first serve. The 34-year-old twins are bidding to win the Beijing title for the third time after victories in 2009 (d. Knowles/Roddick) and 2010 (d. Fyrstenberg/Matkowski).

The Bryans go onto face first-time pairing Marin Cilic of Croatia and Australia’s Marinko Matosevic, who reached the semi-finals with a 2-6, 6-3, 12-10 victory over Tommy Haas and Jurgen Melzer.

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©Neven Gerencir

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