BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2013
Polish Power Win Group A Opener
by James Buddell|
Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski got their Group A campaigns off to a winning start on Monday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The eighth seeds, who are competing at The O2 in London for the first time since a 2011 final run, defeated fifth seeds Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-3, 7-6(8) in the first round-robin doubles match.
Qureshi and Rojer took a 3-1 lead in the first set, but some clever interplay at the net and a number of fine passes by Fyrstenberg and Matkowski saw the Poles win five straight games to seal the 30-minute opener.
In the second set, Fyrstenberg failed to convert a match point opportunity, on a deciding point deuce, at 6-5, when he hit a double fault. Qureshi and Rojer led 4-1 in the tie-break, but Fyrstenberg and Matkowski fought back to ensure a tense end.
Rojer saved a match point at 5-6, with a fine serve. Fyrstenberg then saved a set point, at 6-7, with a forehand volley winner. Matkowski could not convert a third match point chance at 8-7, on Qureshi’s serve, when he struck a backhand return long.
Qureshi and Rojer came under mounting pressure at the net at 8-8, when their defences were pierced by a Fyrstenberg forehand. The Polish Power then ended a hard-fought match, which lasted one hour and 31 minutes.
Fyrstenberg and Matkowski improved to a 3-2 record against Qureshi and Rojer. The Poles won at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, but lost to Qureshi and Rojer at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Qureshi and Rojer, this year’s Sony Open Tennis and If Stockholm Open champions, dropped to 0-4 lifetime together at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Fyrstenberg and Matkowski improved to 10-10 on their sixth appearance at the season finale and to a 29-21 match record on the season.