Sam Querrey and Gilles Muller continued the exodus of seeds by shocking the fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 7-5, 6-7(4), 10-2 to reach the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open.
Muller/Querrey grab late break to seal the opening set
The match got underway with all four players holding their serve for 2-2 early on. The Luxembourg Muller kept he and Querrey ahead at 3-2, losing just the one point. On the Murray serve, the match started opening up and the unseeded pair grabbed two breakpoints with an excellent return from Muller to which the Brit netted.
An overhead winner from the Brazilian sent the game to a deciding point before getting a slice of luck with the 34-year-old slicing a volley into the net with the fourth seeds drawing level at 3-3. The pair of Muller and Querrey continued to look impressive and constantly putting the pressure on their seeded opponents by holding this time for 4-3.
In the next game from love-30, a few errors and Murray/Soares found themselves at 30-all but came through a tight game to draw level once more at 4-4. In a tight set with such fine margins, the fourth seeds earned their first break point of the match when they sent the game to a deciding point. But an unreturnable serve put the unseeded pair ahead again at 5-4.
The next two service games flashed by and the Luxembourg-American duo had guaranteed themselves a tiebreak at least. However, they continued to pick off Murray/Soares and even grabbed a set point. A backhand winner from the American that caught the line gave he and Muller the first set 7-5.
Murray/Soares fight back to win the second set on a tiebreaker
The second set began the same way as the opening set, with a hold of serve from Muller. Murray and then Querrey both came through a tough service game to hold their serves before the Brazilian made it a clean sweep of holds with the set locked at 2-2. The ever-reliable Muller then struggled in his service game, falling behind three break points after failing to return a Soares volley.
He and Querrey then dug deep to send the fifth game to a deciding point. However, an unfortunate double-fault gave the fourth seeds their first break of the set and the match at 2-3. The 32-year-old Brit then failed to press home his and Soares' advantage as the unseeded pair battled an excellent defense from the fourth seeds to earn two hard-fought breakpoints.
A Querrey return of serve caught the edge of the line as he and Muller broke immediately back before going on to consolidate and go infront, 4-3. From that moment on both teams began to began to match each other with excellent defense and shot-making to please the packed crowd at Indian Wells.
With Muller/Querrey ahead 6-5, the 36-year-old Brazilian held serve to send the second set into a crucial tiebreaker. The unseeded pair made the better start, breaking at 2-0 and then at 3-2 but failed to further their lead with the fourth seeds breaking at 5-4 then earning a setpoint. An ace from Murray leveled the match to send it to a match tiebreaker, 6-7(4).
Muller/Querrey complete the upset
All square at one set apiece, the fourth seeds broke first in the breaker in the third game, however, the unseeded pair, as they have done all match, fought to break twice in a row to now lead 3-2.
The big-serving 30-year-old American held serve twice for the first time in three games as he and Muller furthered their advantage to lead 5-2. The Scots serve laid it on a plate for Querrey who sent the return back and forced the error to break once again.
A frustrated Glaswegian lost his serve for the second time with the 34-year-old Muller hitting a return winner into the corner of the court for 7-2. Two more holds of serve from the unseeded pair made it 9-2, earning seven matchpoints with the upset nearly complete.
The pair did eventually finish off the fourth seeds 10-2 with Querrey attacking and forcing the error from the Brazilian much to the delight of the crowd and his Luxembourg partner.