Rohan Bopanna and Middelkoop save 5 match points to eliminate the Wimbledon champions from Roland Garros | Tennis News


BETTING: The never say die spirit was at work as Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop saved five match points to knock out reigning Wimbledon champions Mate Pavic and Nikol Mektic from Roland Garros on Saturday.
Bopanna’s serve was as venomous as it has been throughout his career and his volleys were also as crisp as ever as his Dutch partner showed exemplary composure under pressure during a an action at the edge of the seat in the third round of the men’s doubles.
A break of serve early in the third set put them at a disadvantage, but Bopanna and Middelkoop didn’t lack spirit or class as they eventually prevailed 6-7(5), 7-6(3) , 7-6 (10) in two hours and 32 minutes.
Bopana thus equaled his best performance at the major on clay by reaching the quarter-finals, having done so four times in the past.
After annexing a set apiece, the pair of Mektic and Pavic got a break chance right away in the opening game of the deciding third set when Middlekoop fired a long forehand at 30-all.
Middelkoop delivered a great first serve but Mektic found a solid return which the Dutch couldn’t get through the net as his backhand kissed the net.
Mektic had no trouble making it 2-0 with a comfortable hold. Bopanna held firm and southpaw Pavic also remained solid on his serve as the second seeds now led 3-1.
Bopanna made a backhand error, close to the net when Middelkoop served 30-30 to be trailed by another breakpoint, but they saved that and the next one too.
They finally held with Bopanna ending the game by sending a backhand volley.
Pavic came under pressure when Bopanna fired a superb return-of-service winner and Middelkoop also sent a fierce return to make it devilish, but the big southpaw landed two big serves to set up his partner for easy volley winners on the returns.
Mektic was serving for the game in Game 10 but was clearly feeling the pressure.
Down by match point, Middelkoop found a winner to make it two while Bopanna fired a superb forehand return service winner, his shot just kissing the line, to earn a break chance they converted to make it 5-5.
The momentum had changed.
Bopanna came out firing on all cylinders, holding on to love. Pavic also served big, forcing a Super tie-break.
The second seeds came 9-6 down to have a number of match points, but the Indo-Dutch combination continued to fight in stunning fashion and eventually saved another four match points in the Super Tie-break .
They got their first match point when the rivals managed a 10-10 comeback. Pavic served correctly in the face of a match point, but Middelkoop returned from an angle, which the southpaw kicked out.
Middelkoop fell to the ground in disbelief as Bopanna let out a roar.

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