Jonathan Marray and Freddie Nielsen pip reigning champions at O2 Arena
Last Updated: 07/11/12 9:29pm
Freddie Nielsen (left) and Jonathan Marray: first doubles team through to the knockout stages
Jonathan Marray and Freddie Nielsen made it two wins from two at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, making them the first doubles pairing to reach the semi-finals in London.
The eighth-seeded duo defeated defending champions Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 7-6 (7/3) 4-6 12-10 to thrill the crowd at the O2 Arena.
Belarusian Mirnyi and Nestor of Canada have 19 grand slam doubles titles between them and six World Tour Finals crowns but they came out second best to the debutants.
Fresh from beating Indian pair Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in their opening group B match, the Anglo-Danish pairing made a good start on Wednesday night, with Nielsen securing a break in the seventh game.
Marray, however, was unable to serve out the set, though he did make amends with an ace to clinch the tie-break.
The second set did not begin so well as a Nielsen double fault gave the champions an immediate advantage, and it was one Marray and Nielsen were unable to claw back.
A deciding tie-break was required to determine the winners, the same scenario that Marray and Nielsen faced in their first outing on Monday.
It was tight from the start with no more than two points between the pairs all the way through. The first match point went to Marray and Nielsen after the Yorkshireman hit an ace, but he then netted the return.
Mirnyi and Nestor also squandered an opportunity to clinch it before a volley too long from the former handed their opponents a nail-biting triumph.