Tecau-Rojer defeat Herbert-Mahut French pair, top the Fleming-McEnroe group
Second seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau and third seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, both in contention for year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, have clinched their spots in the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Rojer and Tecau brought sixth-seeded Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut’s season to a close on Friday with a 6-4, 7-5 win.
The French pairing of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert opened on serve with Herbert starting. He started an early run of four straight service holds. The fifth game of the opening set saw the lone break with Herbert serving. That came on a forehand volley smashed down by Rojer to secure a 3-2 lead. Tecau would serve as his team fought off two break points to extend the lead to 4-2. After a few exchanged service holds, Tecau served out the set at 6-4 with the deciding point coming on a solid forehand volley by the Romanian, vavel.com informs.
The second set would see no separation until the seventh game. Herbert served for the French duo and they fell into an enormous 0-40 hole after a botched forehand dig from Herbert. After his best shot of the set, smashing his own racquet, Herbert dug in to push the score all the way to 40-40, but the break came when he netted a shot to give Rojer-Tecau a 4-3 lead. After swapping service holds, it was Rojer who failed to serve the set and match out at 5-4. Herbert hitting the line on a fine forehand return winner to break to 5-5. Immediately though, Herbert was back under pressure on serve as both Rojer and Tecau continued to assault the Frenchman’s serve on return. The decisive break was scored on a Tecau return that Herbert was unable to get back over the net. Tecau would come up with a big first serve that Herbert could not return in play as Rojer-Tecau won 6-4, 7-5.
The win for Rojer-Tecau put them on top of the Fleming-McEnroe group at 3-0. Dodig-Melo by verge of their win and the Mahut-Herbert loss placed second in the group. In the Ashe-Smith group, the tandem of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea finished in first with Bob and Mike Bryan placing second. That sets up Saturday’s semifinals with the day sessions to start with Bopanna-Mergea taking on Dodig-Melo. The night session begins with Rojer-Tecau clashing with the Bryans.