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Updated: 20 min 23 sec ago
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 result means that Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, victorious over seventh seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic 3-6, 7-5, 10-6 during the afternoon session, finish second in the round robin group.
Rojer and Tecau will now face Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in Saturday's semi-finals, while Melo and Dodig take on Group Ashe/Smith winners Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea, the eighth seeds. The winner of the Rojer/Tecau vs. Bryans semi-final will either clinch year-end No. 1 with that victory, or, if Dodig/Melo reach the final, then the title match will decide who secures the top spot.
Rojer and Tecau drew first blood with a break in the fifth game of the 36-minute opening set. They would strike again at 3-all in the second, a forehand volley error from Herbert giving Rojer and Tecau a service break. Herbert would make good three games later, crushing a forehand return winner to bring the set back on serve, but his opponents wouldn’t be denied. Tecau served it out in one hour and 23 minutes.
Rojer/Tecau leveled their FedEx ATP Head2Head history at 1-1, following up on their 7-6(5) 6-4 loss in the US Open quarter-finals. Herbert/Mahut went on to become the first French duo to capture the title.
Watch Hot Shot as David Ferrer offers the perfect reply to a Rafael Nadal approach shot. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
Former British No. 1 Tim Henman looks ahead to the blockbuster semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Watch Hot Shot as Rafael Nadal outlasts David Ferrer from the baseline. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
With the top spot in Group Ilie Nastase confirmed, Rafael Nadal remained unbeaten in his Barclays ATP World Tour Finals round robin campaign, extending his perfect mark to 3-0 on Friday. Countryman David Ferrer turned in a valiant effort after rallying from two breaks down in the first set, but Nadal responded in kind, wrapping up the thrilling victory 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4.
Following a rocky start to 2015, the World No. 5 is gaining significant momentum at the season finale in London. A 17-4 post-US Open mark has included five Top 10 wins and now three straight this week at The O2. He enters an Open Era record 46th clash against Novak Djokovic in Saturday's semi-finals after surviving a gritty two-hour and 37-minute battle against Ferrer. Tested often, he refused to back down, even with a semi-final berth already assured.
Nadal, who notched his 60th win of the season on Wednesday, secured the immediate advantage, breaking Ferrer to 15 in the first game of the match. Stepping inside the baseline, a rifled backhand winner down-the-line and Ferrer forehand error put him ahead 1-0. Nadal claimed 10 of the first 11 points as he raced to a 3-0 lead behind a second break. But Ferrer would go on a run of his own, taking 12 of 14 points to snatch both breaks back and draw level at 3-3. They would again exchange breaks in the 11th and 12th games, as Ferrer broke Nadal serving for the set at 6-5 - saving a set point - following a seven-minute game. In the tie-break, a wayward lob and double fault from Nadal would give Ferrer a pair of early mini-breaks and he would emerge with the opener after exactly one hour.
Ferrer used his forehand to attack Nadal's own forehand in the Ad court, with 90 per cent of his winners in the first set coming from this side. Ferrer would win a 14-minute opening game to the second set. He would also battle to hold for 3-3 after saving a break point, despite Nadal winning the point of the match - a grueling 26-shot rally that he punctuated with a backhand cross-court winner. Minimising his unforced errors, Nadal would grab his fourth break of the match two games later and drew level at a set apiece.
Fans at The O2 were rewarded with a pulsating three-set battle, as Ferrer saved five break points in the opening game of the third to hold. A sublime corner-to-corner lob for Ferrer fell smack on the line and brought the London faithful to their feet during the near-14 minute game. They would remain on serve until the eighth game, when a Nadal forehand error moved his compatriot to two points from serving for the match at 4-3 0/30. Nadal would do well to hold, turning defence into offence in a flash with a pulsating shot-making display. A flick forehand winner down-the-line at 15/40 in the next game - his sixth break chance of the set - would yield the decisive break for 5-4. He would finish with 32 winners and five breaks from 12 opportunities.
Nadal now leads the FedEx ATP Head2Head series 24-6, having claimed their previous meeting this year on the clay of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. They had split their two encounters at the season finale, with Ferrer capturing the encounter in Shanghai in 2007 and Nadal winning in 2013 at The O2. Ferrer was looking to cap his 2015 season on a high note, playing in his last match following an 0-2 start. He concluded the year with a 55-16 overall record, with titles in Doha, Rio de Janeiro, Acapulco, Kuala Lumpur and Vienna.
Nadal had confirmed his place opposite Novak Djokovic - runner-up in Group Stan Smith - in Saturday's semi-finals after defeating Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka earlier in the week. He qualified for the last four at the season finale for a fifth time in seven appearances.
Former British pro Barry Cowan previews the winner-take-all clash between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray on Friday night at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Ashley Goodchild may only be 4 years old, but he has a big passion for tennis and more importantly, his favourite player, Andy Murray! Ashley was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2012 and during his treatment in hospital, he watched Andy win the 2012 Olympics, decorating the ward with posters and banners of his hero! He has followed him ever since, so when
Make-A-Wish ® UK asked what his wish would be, he chose to meet his tennis idol…
Ashley, from Gosport in Hampshire, travelled with his family in a limousine to the Barclays ATP World Finals at the O2 arena. Upon arrival he was met by Andy’s team and close friend, Ross Hutchins, who was diagnosed with cancer in December 2012. After watching Andy warm up for the match, he took to the court for a hit around with his hero, delighting the crowd in the arena!
Ashley’s mum Laura said: “The wish was just amazing and exceeded all our expectations. It meant everything to Ashley – he was so excited in the run up to the wish and on the day. It is something we will remember forever.”
Ashley was diagnosed with liver cancer (Hepatoblastoma) in June 2012 after his mum noticed a lump on his side. The tumour quickly swelled to the size of a grapefruit and Ashley started treatment straight away. He underwent chemotherapy to shrink the tumour and had an operation to remove it, which was a very difficult time for the family. He is now in remission, but his health is monitored.
Andy Murray said: “I always find it inspiring meeting children through Make-A-Wish and it was wonderful meeting Ashley and playing tennis with him. I think he has the makings of a great little player!”
There are currently 20,000 children and young people in the UK fighting a life-threatening condition and over 1,000 of them will turn to Make-A-Wish this year. We want to grant a wish to every eligible child, but can’t do that without the generosity of the public.
Make-A-Wish receives no government funding – so every donation really does count.
To make a donation or refer a child to Make-A-Wish please visit our website here: www.make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 40 50 70.
Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo completed Group Fleming/McEnroe with a 2-1 record on Friday and later learned their had qualified for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The third seeds, who are in contention to become year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, defeated seventh seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic 3-6, 7-5, 10-6 in 81 minutes on Friday afternoon and waited close to six hours to find out they would play on Saturday.
Group leaders and second seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau beat sixth seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut during the evening session to ensure Dodig and Melo qualified as the second-placed team. Had Herbert and Mahut beaten Rojer and Tecau, they would have clinched the second spot.
Dodig and Melo are now 35-12 on the season, which includes three titles. They are No. 3-ranked in the battle for year-end No. 1, behind Bob and Mike Bryan and Rojer and Tecau.
Their third encounter with Matkowski and Zimonjic went with serve, prior to Melo losing his serve at 3-4 on a deciding deuce point. Dodig and Melo bounced back by taking a 4-1 second-set lead, including a break of Matkowski's serve to 15, but the Pole-Serbian team recovered to 5-5. Matkowski dropped his serve a second time to 15, to ensure the clash went to a Match tie-break, which Dodig and Melo largely controlled.
Matkowski and Zimonjic finish their 2015 campaigns with a 33-24 team record with three titles.
Watch Hot Shot as Nenad Zimonjic handles everything Dodig/Melo throws at him before calmly volleying a winner into the open court. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
How long does it take a Tecnifibre stringing pro to string Rafael Nadal's racquet?
Bob and Mike Bryan reflect on their comeback win over Murray/Peers.
What will be the keys when Rojer and Tecau face Herbert and Mahut on Friday evening? Doubles alternates Peya and Soares discuss.
Watch highlights as Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka win in London. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau look ahead to a blockbuster semi-final clash with the Bryans in the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Watch Hot Shot as Stan Wawrinka desperately tries to stay alive in the point against Andy Murray. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
During a visit to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as winner of the Tecnifibre Young Guns Contest, Denis Kudla enjoys a unique view of London as he climbs over The O2.
Watch Hot Shot as Stan Wawrinka strikes a perfect one-hander. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.
Who's the better dancer and who's the better dresser? Find out as Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau ask each other the important questions.
British athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson speaks about her first experience of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Watch Hot Shot as Andy Murray makes a spectacular get against Stan Wawrinka. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.