ATP World Tour Finals: Bopanna-Mergea Make Semifinals Despite Losing To Bolelli-Fognini

ATP World Tour Finals: Bopanna-Mergea Make Semifinals Despite Losing To Bolelli-Fognini

After going 0-2 in the Ashe-Smith group, Italians Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli won their last Round Robin match over Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea to end their season on a high. Even with the loss, Bopanna-Mergea still top the group and advance to the semifinals.

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The final matches of Round Robin play at the ATP World Tour Finals took place on Thursday at The O2 Arena in London. Fifth seeded Italians Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini went up against 8th seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea. Bolelli-Fognini prevailed 6-4, 1-6, 10-5 to finish the season on a high note.

Italians Go Up Early

It was the first head to head meeting between the two teams in a match that lasted a total of 61 minutes. Donned in matching white and black outfits, the Italian pair of Bolelli and Fognini were playing for nothing but ranking points as they could not advance no matter the result. That came due to Bolelli-Fognini going 0-2 in the Ashe-Smith Group with losses to Jamie Murray and John Peers along with a straight set loss to the Bryan Brothers. On the other side, Bopanna and Mergea were in perfect position at 2-0. This was surprising to many as the pair barely qualified for the tournament 

The match started with Bopanna serving. The fifth seeded Italian duo quickly pounced to break easily to love for the early 1-0 lead. The Australian Open champions used a nice combination of change of pace and energetic play throughout the opening set. The one break proved to be all the pair needed as both teams held serve with the Italians closing out the set 6-4 in 31 minutes.

Bopanna-Mergea Take Back Momentum In Set Two

The 8th seeded pair showed determination to turn around the momentum of the match. After a hold of serve, the pair broke Fognini in the second game. With their level of play raised, they took command with a 3-0 lead after another service hold. Fognini's service woes continued, as he was broken for a second time later in the set to help his opponents to a 5-1 lead. Mergea closed the set out on serve to 30 for the 6-1 set finish. After two sets of play, the two teams headed to a match deciding super tie break.

Italians Prevail In The Breaker

After two completely contrasting sets, both pairs of players came into the decisive super breaker determined. Even with the poor second set, Bolelli and Fognini started quick and took an important 5-1 lead. They rode out the lead with ease to finish off the match 10-5 in the super tie break. The Italians actually won the match despite winning less points than Bopanna-Mergea with the final tally at 56 to 50. The big difference maker came in the super tie break where Bolelli-Fognin were all over the first serves of Bopanna-Mergea as they won five of seven points off their opponent's first serve.

Final Tally

The Italian pair ends their season with 26 wins, Their season was highlighted by their Australian Open title. Bopanna-Mergea finish 2-1 in group play and take first place with the Bryan Brothers finishing second in the group. The 8th seeded pair is 32-15 on the season and move to the semifinals where they will face the second place team from the Fleming-McEnroe group. That spots has yet to be determined with the final day of doubles in that group coming on Friday. Bopanna will look to reach a second season finale after previously reaching the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals title match with former doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi. The semifinals will take place on Saturday.

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