Third seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic reached the first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final of their careers on Saturday night when they defeated Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-6(4), 4-6 10-7 in one hour and 35 minutes. They will play against fourth seeds and five-time former champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in Sunday’s final.
Marach and Pavic have a 4-3 record in tour-level finals, including a 3-1 record this year, which started with a 17-match unbeaten run and three straight trophies at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. J. Murray/Soares), the ASB Classic (d. Mirnyi/Oswald) and at the Australian Open, their first Grand Slam championship (d. Cabal/Farah). The duo also finished as runners up in the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament final (l. to Herbert/Mahut).
Marach and Pavic took a 5-3 lead, courtesy of a service break in the fifth game, but later failed to convert a set point opportunity — which was also a break point for Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin — at 5-4. While Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin won the first two points of the Match tie-break, a clever forehand return winner down the line past Roger-Vasselin at 4/4, handed the Austrian-Croatian team the advantage. Marach finished the 48-minute set with two consecutive smash winners.
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin consolidated a break of Pavic’s serve on a deciding deuce point in the second set and soon earned a double-break cushion for a 4-1 lead. Although Bopanna lost his serve in the sixth game, the Indian-French tandem held on for a Match tie-break.
Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin took a 3/0 lead, then found themselves 7/5 up before Marach and Pavic won five straight points and completed the match when Bopanna hit a forehand long.
Originally published at Montecarlotennismasters.com