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Bhupathi/Bopanna Clinch Final London Spot

Paris, France

In a winner-take-all quarter-final clash Friday at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, Indian duo Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna clinched the final berth at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 10-4 victory over 'Polish Power' Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski.

Bhupathi and Bopanna will make their team debut at the season finale. The 38-year-old Bhupathi is a four-time runner-up at the event, losing in the final in 2010 (w/Mirnyi) and 1997, ’99 and 2000 with Leander Paes. Bopanna, 32, made his debut at the year-end championships last year, partnering Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi.

The Indian pairing joined forces this season and have compiled a 29-20 match record. They won their first title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Fyrstenberg/Matkowski) and were runners-up at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments in Cincinnati (l. to Lindstedt/Tecau) and Shanghai (l. to Paes/Stepanek).

Seventh seeds Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer, who have also qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, reached the semi-finals in Paris with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over second seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor. The Pakistani/Dutch tandem converted two of their seven break points to prevail in 75 minutes.

Qureshi and Rojer, winners of two ATP World Tour titles this season, go onto face Marin Cilic and Marcelo Melo, who beat the in-form Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 in 89 minutes. Peya and Soares have won three ATP World Tour titles in their past four events, lifting the trophies in Valencia, Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur.

Paul Hanley and Jonathan Marray backed up their second-round win over top seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan by edging French wild card pairing Josselin Ouanna and Nicolas Renavand  7-6(6), 7-6(5). Wimbledon champion Marray is playing with Hanley for the first time before reuniting with Frederik Nielsen at next week’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

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© Hiroshi Sato

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