Monte Carlo Masters: Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas upset Australian Open champions, Novak Djokovic exits
Indian tennis ace Rohan Bopanna and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay stormed back from a set down to upset the top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers 6-3, 3-6, 13-11 in the quarter-finals of the 2017 Monte Carlo Masters at Monaco on Friday.
After losing the first set to the reigning Australian Open champions, the Indo-Uruguayan combine were in dire straits as they stared at multiple break points early on in the second set.
But Bopanna and Cuevas managed to save all four of the break points and that became the turning point of the match.
In the match tie-break, the Australian-Finnish pair led 3-1 only to see a determined comeback from their unseeded opponents. Bopanna and Cuevas once again trailed 5-6 before levelling at 7-7. In a tense ending, the Indo-Uruguayan pair saw two of their match points getting erased as Kontinen and Peers raised their level each time.
It was then Bopanna and Cuevas’ turn to save a match point following which they converted on their third match point.
The two have been in impeccable form at this tournament. In the second round, they upset the fifth seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram. In the semi-finals, they will face the unheralded team of Romain Arneodo and Hugo Nys.
Goffin topples Djokovic
Djokovic had been patchy all week and played three three-set matches in a row. However, he seemed to have weathered the Belgian storm by securing an early break in the decider. Goffin even squandered a number of break points in a marathon sixth game that lasted over 10 minutes and let Djokovic build a 4-2 lead. The setback ultimately could not throw the World No. 13 off his rhythm as he finally made inroads into the Serbian's serve in the very next game.
Goffin was able to hold his nerve despite blowing four match points to break the second seed and seal his first ever win over the 12-time Major winner.
In the other matches of the day, Andy Murray-slayer Albert Ramos-Vinolas and the 11th seeded Lucas Pouille set up a semi-final showdown against each other. Both had to work hard for their respective quarter-final victories. While the Spaniard toppled the fifth seed Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-2 to reach his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semi-final, Pouille edged the 16th seeded Cuevas 6-0, 3-6, 7-5.