Marach/Pavic Reach Paris SFs To Clinch Year-End No. 1
Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic saved two match points to defeat John Isner and Neal Skupski 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 12-10 on Friday, advancing to the semi-finals of the Rolex Paris Masters. The Austrian-Croatian team, by virtue of their quarter-final victory and the rest of the day's results, have clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP Doubles Team Ranking.
Marach and Pavic are pursuing their fifth tour-level title of the season, with their most recent triumph coming at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open in May. They were the first duo to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. This will be their fifth semi-final at an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in 2018, with Marach and Pavic trying to capture their first team title at this level.
In the last four, the top seeds will face Marcel Granollers and Rajeev Ram, who upset third seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, the defending champions, 6-1, 6-4. It is the first time Granollers and Ram have competed together.
On the other half of the draw, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau beat sixth seeds Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus 7-6(4), 6-0. They will play second seeds Mike Bryan and Jack Sock, who ousted home favourites Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-6.
"They played at a very high level. They had a winning return when needed. Even if we were winning 5/3 [in the tie-break], the path was long, and they managed to win in the end," Herbert said. "We still had a good level, and we have to analyze the small details where we lost. But we're still pretty satisfied of our performance for these two matches. We were quite exhausted and there were just one or two points missing."