Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, JJ Rojer upstage Bryan brothers in Madrid Open
KARACHI: Pakistan’s Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and his Dutch partner Jean-Julien Rojer staged a stunning comeback to beat top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan in the Madrid Open pre-quarterfinals late Thursday.
Qureshi will now come face-to-face with his former doubles partner Rohan Bopanna of India, who, along with compatriot Mahesh Bhupati beat Santiago Gonzalez and Christopher Kas in their second-round match, also played on the same day.
At one set down and on the verge of an exit, the Pak-Dutch pair saved five match points in the second set to take the match in to a tie-break.
The Bryans, the world’s most successful men’s doubles team, won the first set 6-4. In the second set, world number 17 Qureshi-Rojer were able to hold their nerve and clinch it with the same score (6-4).
The tie-break decider was no less nervy for both teams, as it swayed on service games until Qureshi and Rojer grabbed a rare opportunity offered by the top seeds to take the match at 18-16.
The win comes on the back of a successful outing at the Estoril Open in Portugal earlier this month, when Qureshi and Rojer won their first title together.
Pakistan’s most successful tennis player will now face his long-time Indian doubles partner Bopanna in the last-four tie for the first time since the two parted ways late last year.
Bopanna has paired up with compatriot Bhupati, as he aims to qualify for the London Olympic Games.
Qureshi, himself, faces a stiff challenge in becoming Pakistan’s first tennis representative at the Games as he is currently ranked 14th in the ATP doubles rankings and will have to attain a ranking of number 10 or under in the next month-and-a-half.
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi[PAK]/Jean-Julien Rojer[NED] beat Bob Bryan[US]/Mike Bryan[US] (4-6, 6-4, 18-16)