The Colombian pairing of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah dropped their first set of the tournament en-route to making the US Open quarterfinals for the very first time. They defeated Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 and will face Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Cabal/Farah grab early break to run away with the opening set
The Colombians who were looking to make a second Grand Slam final this year got off to the perfect start. In the second game, Farah's fizzed forehand return caught Granollers off guard who missed a volley at the net as two breakpoints arrived at 40-15.
The pair missed their first chance but a stunning low return to the feet of the Croatian did the job as they broke and consolidated to go 3-0 up. For the first time in the match, the 11th seeds held serve to love to gain their first game at 3-1.
The fifth seeds continued to play high standards and a love service game made it 4-1. Two more love service games ensued, putting the Australian Open a game from taking the opening set at 5-2 on the Spaniards serve.
A high volley from Cabal caused problems for Granollers who sent the forehand long with a set/beak point arriving for the Colombians. At the first time of asking, the fifth seeds broke Granollers to seal the opening set 6-2 in 26 minutes.
Dodig/Granollers force a decider
Despite losing the first set, Dodig/Granollers didn't let that affect them and immediately brought up two break points following an excellent Dodig return crosscourt. The Colombians saved the first of two breakpoints but fell behind thanks to the 32-year-old's volley.
A hold of serve to 15 by the Croatian made it 0-2, turning the match in his and Granollers favor. The 11th seeds held for the first time in the set for 1-2 but was made to work for it. Another comfortable hold strengthened the fifth seeds position at 1-3.
Having turned it on in the second set, the Croatian-Spaniard were dominating and a bullet return winner from Granollers gave he and Dodig a further breakpoint opportunity. Farah then netted handing the double-break to the fifth seeds, 1-4.
Two more holds of serve left the Spaniard serving for the set at 2-5. An unreturnable serve brought up a set point, which was taken thanks to the 33-year-old's quick hands at the net.
Cabal/Farah advance thanks to a lone break
Having won the second set and with momentum fully on their side, the 11th seeds brought up an early breakpoint at the start of the third set. But the Croatian's return went narrowly wide as they missed their chance with the Colombians going on to hold, 1-0.
The fifth seeds also had some minor problems on serve but held to make it 1-1. The fifth seeds again found themselves in trouble, needing to save two break points. Two excellent serves by Farah sent the game to deuce before he and Cabal held to stay in the match at 2-1.
The next four games went on serve with the Colombians ahead 4-3. For the first time in nearly two sets, the Croatian-Spaniard pair collapsed on their service games, falling behind triple break points. The 32-year-old could only find the net from Cabal's forehand.
He then had the opportunity to serve it out and earned a match point at 30-40. Dodig/Granollers saved the first match point but just two points later, Cabal/Farah earnt a second. And this time, put away the match point to clinch the victory.