BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2012
Granollers/Lopez To Play Indians In London Doubles Final
by James Buddell|
Sixth seeds Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez set-up a title match against fifth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna on Sunday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The teams have met once before in May at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
Granollers and Lopez defeated eighth seeds Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen 6-4, 6-3 to book a place in Monday evening’s final at The O2 in London. Earlier this year, Marray and Nielsen beat the pair in the Wimbledon first round en route to the Grand Slam championship title.
Playing one-up and one-back, Granollers and Lopez frustrated their net-rushing opponents early on as they hit groundstroke winners. Nielsen lost his serve in the third game, which Lopez survived sudden death deuce for a 5-3 lead. At 5-4, Granollers served at set point, but also break point. Taking his time to serve, he hit an unreturned delivery that clinched the 40-minute set. Marray and Nielsen failed to convert any of their seven break point opportunities.
The Spaniards, who will compete in next week’s Davis Cup maintained their momentum in the second set. Lopez came through another game decided on a sudden death point in the third game. Marray and Nielsen got back on level terms in the sixth game, when Marray hit a backhand return down the line that Lopez could not lunge to and volley cleanly.
In the next game, Marray let slip a 40/0 lead, losing four straight points. Granollers fired a forehand return down the line, which Marray scrambled up. Nielsen went to cover his partner, leaving half of the court exposed. Granollers whipped a forehand crosscourt into space. At 3-5, 15/30 Nielsen double-faulted to gift the Spaniards three match points. He saved one, but the Spaniards were not to be denied, completing a memorable win in 78 minutes.
Granollers and Lopez are now one match win shy of 40 victories in 2012. They won titles in Rome (d. Kubot-Marach) and at the Crédit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad (d. Farah-Giraldo) from five finals.
Marray was the first native-born Briton to play doubles in the year-end championship. South African-born Neil Broad, who played in 1990 and 1996, was member of the British Davis Cup team in 1991. Nielsen, who will concentrate on his singles career in 2013, was the first Dane to qualify for the prestigious tournament.