Third seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor and eighth-seeded Poles Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski qualified for the semi-finals from Group B on Thursday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Both teams qualified for Saturday, after Mirnyi and Nestor completed a remarkable 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 comeback win over second seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic in 80 minutes. It was their third win in the round-robin group and improved their season record to 45-19. Had Llodra and Zimonjic won the match, then they and Mirnyi-Nestor would have qualified.
The two teams’ sixth meeting went with serve until the seventh game, when Nestor was broken to 15. Zimonjic was able to wrap up the 33-minute set with a hold to 15.
Despite hitting two aces, Mirnyi lost his serve to 30 in the third game of the second set, but Mirnyi and Nestor recovered by winning five straight games to the group-decider to a Match tie-break. Llodra and Zimonjic each hit double faults to lose their serves in the sixth and eighth games of the set.
Llodra and Zimonjic looked to have regained their composure when they took a 4-1 lead in tie-break, but their advantage was brief as Nestor and Zimonjic took risks on serve and levelled the score to 7-7. Two quick points handed the Canadian-Serbian team two match point opportunities. At 7-9, Mirnyi hit a powerful backhand return that hit the net to pass Zimonjic and land inches inside the line.