A match-up that was tough on paper lived up to expectations at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday when third seeds Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram edged past experienced pair Marcel Granollers and Nedad Zimonjic. The Croatian-American duo advanced to the quarter-finals 6-7(4), 6-2, 10-6.
Dodig and Ram held a set point at 5-4 only to lose the opening set in a tie-break before they broke twice to send the contest into a match tie-break. It was then they surged to 5/1 before sealing a quarter-final meeting with Dutchmen Robin Haase and Matwe Middelkoop.
Dodig and Ram had reached the semi-finals in Rotterdam in their most recent outing together while it was the Spanish-Serbian pair’s first event together. Dodig and Granollers had played together in 2017 and qualified for the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals where they fell at the group stage.
The unseeded Haase and Middelkoop booked their place with a 6-4, 6-4 win over qualifiers Jen-Lennard Struff and Viktor Troicki.
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At the Brasil Open, in Sao Paulo, the all-Argentine pair of Federico Delbonis and Maximo Gonzalez sprung the upset of the day when they took down No. 2 seeds Hans Podlipnik-Castillo and Andrei Vasilevski to reach the quarter-finals. The unseeded duo advanced 7-5, 4-6, 10-5 over the Chilean-Belarusian pair, dropping just four points on their first serves and saving five of six break points.
Third-seeded Argentine pair Guillermo Duran and Andres Molteni progressed when Brazil’s Fabricio Neis, teaming with Argentina’s Renzo Olivo, had to retire with a left toe injury after losing the first set 6-2.
Fourth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak defeated Sander Arends and Andre Begemann in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals, while Gael Monfils, teaming with French compatriot Dorian Descloix, fell to Spaniards Roberto Carballes Baena and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 7-5.