Jonathan Erlich and Marcin Matkowski are through to the third round of the men’s doubles after winning a marathon match on Friday afternoon.
Taking on the tournament’s second seeds, Brazilian Marcelo Melo and Pole Lukasz Kubot, a tightly-contested first half was won by Melo and Kubot in the tie-break, before the Israeli-Polish duo leveled up the match – winning the second set 6-4. With the first eight games going to serve, Erlich and Matkowski broke serve, with the latter serving out his service game to seal the set.
The third set proved to be a similarly close affair, with no break of serve – although Matkowski had to save a break point – leading to another tie-break. Enjoying an early mini-break, superb returns from Matkowski and Erlich took them to 6-3, with Erlich acing their second set point to see them edge ahead.
The fourth set continued a similar trend, though with the first nine games having to gone to serve at 5-4, Erlich and Matkowski managed to get themselves a match point, but couldn’t convert it.
Further holds meant a third tie-break and this one proved to be the most dramatic. A tumultuous 10 minutes or so, saw Erlich and Matkowski trailing 6-3, though saving three set points, turned it around, and finally wrapped up the win thanks to a double-fault, sealing the match with their third match point in a contest which lasted three hours and 37 minutes.
They will next face either Chilean Julio Peralta and Argentine Horacio Zeballos, or Indian Divij Sharan and New Zealand’s Artem Sitak, for a place in the quarter-finals.