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Bhupathi/Bopanna Reach SFs; Britons Save Two M.P. Versus Qureshi/Rojer

Shanghai, China

Hutchins, Fleming© Getty ImagesRoss Hutchins and Colin Fleming have reached their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final.

Indians Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna advanced to their fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final of the season on Friday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The seventh seeds saved all five break points they faced to defeat second seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 7-6(7), 6-4 in 84 minutes. Bopanna and Bhupathi are 11-7 at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, which includes one final appearance at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (l. to Lindstedt/Tecau).

While Nestor and Mirnyi will bid to retain their title at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 in London, from 5-12 November, Bhupathi and Bopanna have yet to qualify. They are currently No. 8 in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings Race To London and will next play No. 11-ranked Britons Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, who also remain in the hunt for a berth as the season-ending championship.

Fleming and Hutchins saved two match points at 8-9 and 9-10 in the Match Tie-break to beat sixth seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 7-6(2), 4-6, 12-10 in two hours and 14 minutes. Qureshi double-faulted at 9-8 in the Match tie-break and Fleming saved the second match point on serve. Fleming and Hutchins, who beat third seeds Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau in the second round, are now 34-18 on the season and will play their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final. 

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Fourth seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek edged Jurgen Melzer and Milos Raonic 7-5, 6-7(4), 10-5 to book their place in the semi-finals. The Australian Open champions won four fewer total points than Melzer and Raonic but took six of their seven service points in the deciding Match Tie-break to advance in one hour and 36 minutes.

Paes and Stepanek, coming off runner-up efforts at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships (l. to Peya/Soares) and US Open (l. to Bryan/Bryan) in their past two appearances together, are seeking their second Masters 1000 crown this season. They triumphed at the Sony Open Tennis in Miami (d. Mirnyi/Nestor).

On Saturday, Paes and Stepanek will face Marin Cilic and Marcelo Melo. The Croat/Brazilian duo defeated Eric Butorac and Philipp Petzschner 6-3, 7-6(5) in an all-unseeded quarter-final meeting. Cilic and Melo saved seven of the eight break points against their serves to claim victory in 80 minutes.

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©Neven Gerencir

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