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Granollers/Lopez Win Valencia Opener

ATP World Tour 2012 Season - Week 43

Top seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez defeated Christopher Kas and Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-2 in 71 minutes on Tuesday at the Valencia Open 500.

The Spaniards have claimed their place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London, from 5-12 November, for the first time. So far this season, the Spanish duo has captured ATP World Tour titles at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome and at the Credit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad. They join Bob and Mike Bryan, Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor, Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau, Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek, and Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen as doubles qualifiers, leaving just two doubles team berths up for grabs.

ATP Executive Chairman & President Brad Drewett said, "Marcel and Marc have had a breakthrough year on the doubles tour in 2012, capturing two ATP World Tour titles, as well as reaching four finals. We’re delighted they will be competing at the season finale for the first time and look forward to welcoming them in London."

In the quarter-finals, Granollers and Lopez will face fellow Spaniards David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco, who defeated wild card pairing Roberto Bautista-Agut and Daniel Gimeno-Traver 3-6, 6-3, 10-8 in 66 minutes.

In a contest between two Croatian/Brazilian teams, Marin Cilic and Andre Sa won 81 per cent of points behind their first serve as they ousted third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 7-6(3), 7-5.

At the Swiss Indoors Basel, fourth seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski opened their campaign with a 6-7(5), 6-4, 12-10 victory over French pairing Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet. Fyrstenberg and Matkowski fought back from 8-4 down in the Match Tie-break to prevail in one hour and 34 minutes.

The ‘Polish Power’ are one of the teams locked in contention for the two remaining spots at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and are currently eighth in the ATP Doubles Team Rankings Race To London.

Fyrstenberg and Matkowski were runners-up at this ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard-court tournament in 2006 (l. to Knowles/Nestor). They are looking to win their third ATP World Tour title of the season, following victories in Madrid (d. Lindstedt/Tecau) and Barcelona (d. Granollers/Lopez).

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna, who currently hold down the No. 7 spot in the Race To London, were unable to boost their qualification bid following a first-round loss in Basel. The second-seeded Indian duo fell to Robin Haase and Dick Norman 7-5, 2-6, 14-12 in one hour and 20 minutes.

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©Neven Gerencir

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