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Marrero/Verdasco Qualify From SFs From Group B

London, England

Marrero, Verdasco© Getty ImagesDavid Marrero and Fernando Verdasco qualified for the semi-finals from Group B.

David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco became the first doubles team to qualify for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Wednesday.

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The Spanish team improved to 2-0 in Group B after they recorded a 6-4, 7-6(5) victory over Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek in 89 minutes.

It was their 35th match win of the year and added to their straight sets win over compatriots and defending champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez on Monday.

"I'm very happy," Marrero told "It is my first time here and we couldn't begin any better. It is an unforgettable experience."

Marrero and Verdasco mixed up net and baseline play to negotiate a break of the Stepanek serve to 30 for a 5-4 lead in the first set. Verdasco clinched the 34-minute opener with a hold to love, finishing with an ace. The pair had lost just two of their service points.

Paes lost his serve to 30 in the opening game of the second set, but the Indian-Czech team recovered from 0-2 by winning three straight games. Both teams completed routine service holds through to the tie-break.

Verdasco served for the set at 6-4, but hit a double fault. His second serve hit Marrero on the shoulder. Both players turned to one another and smiled. Marrero made sure on their second match point opportunity when he hit a powerful forehand to the feet of Paes.

The Spaniards won 34 of their 41 first service points in total. 

Verdasco told, "We are playing at our best level now. I am surprised to have won in straight sets to a good team who won the US Open. We'll try to keep playing as well as we can. Our goal is try to win all the matches."

Paes and Stepanek returned to their chairs looking shell-shocked.  The duo beat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in a Match Tie-break on Tuesday, in a repeat of the US Open final in September.

Second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares, the second seeds this week, fought back to beat fourth seeds and defending champions Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 3-6, 6-4, 10-5 in 87 minutes in Group B during the evening session.

The Austrian-Brazilian team converted two of their seven break point opportunities to improve to 3-1 lifetime against Granollers and Lopez. Peya and Soares are now 1-1 in round robin play.

"It's a great feeling to get our first victory," Peya told "We had a tough loss yesterday and it was very important today, coming back from a set down. We were fighting hard, tried to stay positive, and I think that paid off in the end."

Soares told, "We're very happy to play here. It's the first time that Alex and I have played the [Barclays ATP] World Tour Finals and it's very nice to get our first win. It was a very tough match against great opponents, the defending champions. They played a great first set, but the positive thing was we hung in there, kept fighting, played a great second set and a great Match Tie-break."

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