Bopanna and Middelkoop dug deep in their quarter-final, eventually winning in the super tie-breaker.
India’s Rohan Bopanna and Dutch partner Matwe Middelkoop advanced to the ATP 250 European Open semi-finals with a hard-fought win late on Friday night.
Bopanna-Middelkoop beat the impressive Australian pair of Alex de Minaur and Matt Reid 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 in the doubles quarter-final at Antwerp, Belgium.
The Indo-Dutch pair held serve in the opening game of the match and then broke their opponents twice in the next four games to swiftly move to a 5-0 lead in the first set.
De Minaur-Reid managed to stave off three break points to win their service game in the sixth and then sniffed a comeback by breaking Bopanna-Middelkoop. However, the Indo-Dutch team regained composure to take the opening set comfortably.
The Australians were sharper in the second set. After a break of serves each in the opening two games, both pairs kept it clean but De Minaur-Reid crucially broke through in the tenth game and won the second set 6-4 to force a super tie-breaker.
However, the pressure to get to 10 points first was telling on the young Australians. They lost points on serve three times and gave up a lot of ground to trail 7-0 at one point.
Bopanna-Middelkoop executed their shots better and though they squandered two match points at 9-2 and 9-3, the Indo-Dutch pair eventually closed out the super tie-breaker at 10-4 to win the match.
Bopanna-Middelkoop will now face home favourites and fifth-seeds Joran Vliegen and Sander Gille in the semi-finals later on Saturday.
India’s second-best ranked player in the singles Prajnesh Gunneswaran also tasted victory at the ATP Challenger Wolffkran Open in Ismaning, Germany on Friday.
Seventh-seeded Gunneswaran beat local hope Daniel Masur 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 in the singles quarter-final. This was the Indian tennis player’s third-consecutive victory in three sets at the Challenger tournament.
Gunneswaran will now face Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in the semi-finals on Saturday.