BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2012
Granollers/Lopez Finish Second In Group A; Clinch SF Berth
by James Buddell|
Sixth-seeded Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez are through to the semi-finals on their debut at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after defeating seventh seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-4, 6-2 on Saturday evening.
Granollers and Lopez advanced with a 2-1 record in Group A, having beaten the Bryans at the start of the week before losing to Paes and Stepanek. In Sunday’s semi-finals they will face eighth seeds Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielsen.
"It will be a tough match," said Granollers. "They've had a great season, especially at Wimbledon. We need to play a great match if we want to win."
Qureshi and Rojer got off to the worst possible start. Both lost their serves, but recovered one break in clinching Lopez’s serve on a sudden death deuce. Granollers, who lost three points in his three service games, closed out the set in 49 minutes with a hold to 30. Qureshi and Rojer had won just four of their second service points.
Qureshi, normally so assured, with good rhytmn and timing on serve, lost two more of his service games in the first and fifth games of the second set, which ended after 30 minutes. Lopez served out to 30, finishing with a forehand driven at Qureshi who hit his volley into the net.
"It was a tough match," said Granollers. "They were playing very well during the whole season and we needed to win and I think we played a great match."
"We tried to play better than in our second match," added Lopez. "We needed to win in order to stay alive, against a team that didn't have anything to play for and that helped us. We are happy to get to the semi-finals."
Granollers and Lopez also beat Qureshi and Rojer at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April. Victory, at The O2 in London, on Saturday evening, improved their season tally to 38-16.
The pair are the first Spaniards to play in the season-ending doubles championship since Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez in 1994. Granollers and Lopez will compete for Spain against the Czech Republic in next week’s Davis Cup final.
"It would be a perfect ending, something incredible [to win the tournament]," said Lopez. "We're enjoying playing on this court against the best teams and it would be amazing."
Qureshi and Rojer finish the week with a 0-3 record in round-robin play. This year’s two-time ATP World Tour titlists finish their season with a 34-25 match record.