Second seeds Nenad Zimonjic and Michael Llodra won a dramatic Group B match against fifth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 7-6(6), 6-3 on Tuesday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Llodra and Zimonjic, who lost their first match to Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski on Sunday, improved to a 46-15 match record on the season. They have a 4-4 record in ATP World Tour finals this year.

The first set went with serve with routine holds to 4-4, when three mis-timed volleys put Llodra under pressure on serve. Llodra and Zimonjic saved one break point at 30/40, but, at sudden death deuce, Bopanna ripped a backhand winner down the line past Zimonjic. In the next game, Qureshi over-cooked a smash long of the baseline at set point, 40/30. In the sudden-death decider, Llodra hit a backhand winner down the line past Bopanna for 5-5.

Despite leading 40/15, at one point, Bopanna struggled on serve. On sudden-death deuce, Bopanna hit a body serve to Llodra, which the Frenchman could not return. The set was decided on a tie-break. Llodra and Zimonjic took a 2-0 lead, before Bopanna and Qureshi won six straight points to 6-2.

Three set point chances were squandered, then, Bopanna and Qureshi lot their concentration. At 6-5 there was an unusual occurrence, when Bopanna hit a lob forehand that went inside the video scoreboard above the Centre Court. Zimonjic thought he and Llodra had won the point, but the ball dropped into play and Llodra fired a smash winner. After consultation with the umpire and the ATP Supervisor, the point was replayed. Llodra and Zimonjic completed their streak of six straight points to win the 50-minute set, when Bopanna hit a forehand volley long.

Llodra and Zimonjic created one break point opportunity in the third game of the second set, when Zimonjic hit a backhand return winner past a net-rushing Bopanna, who then went on to strike two unreturned serves to hold for 2-1. Qureshi came under fire at 2-2, dropping to 15/40, when Zimonjic hit a backhand crosscourt winner to break. After Zimonjic held to love for a 5-3 lead, Qureshi double-faulted twice to lose his serve for the third time in the match, which last 84 minutes.

Llodra and Zimonjic hit five aces and won 87 per cent of their first service points. Bopanna and Qureshi double faulted seven times. ‘The Indo-Pak Express’ had beaten Llodra and Zimonjic at the recent BNP Paribas Masters, en route to the Paris title.

They drop to a 38-25 season record, highlighted by three titles. The pair also lost their round-robin opener to Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor on Sunday.