ATP Madrid: Kubot/Melo dispatch Dodig/Granollers to continue stellar year

Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo continued their impressive start in Masters by making the semifinals for the third straight time after a runners-up position in Indian Wells and winning the title in Miami.

ATP Madrid: Kubot/Melo dispatch Dodig/Granollers to continue stellar year
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo in action en route to their victory against Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers (Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Kubot/Melo
2 0
Dodig/Granollers

Fourth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo defeated the seventh-seeded pair Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers 6-1, 6-4 in one hour seven minutes to book a spot in the Mutua Madrid Open semifinals. 

Kubot/Melo take their chances

Kubot/Melo kicked off proceedings by holding serve pretty comfortably to 15. Down 40-15, the pair of Kubot/Melo won the next two points to bring up the first deciding/break point of the match with the Pole piercing a return winner into the open space down the line. The fourth seeds then defended resiliently at the net before going on the front foot and breaking with Granollers firing an unforced error.

Kubot/Melo held serve to love quickly and efficiently for a 3-0 lead. The Spaniard eased any nerves and got he and Dodig on the scoreboard in the next game for 3-1. Kubot and Melo also held their next service game for a 4-1 lead. The pair applied some pressure to their opponents by taking the game to 30-all before Kubot made the most of a poor Dodig return and smashed a volley to the feet of Granollers to bring up more break points. 

Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo during Miami Masters (Photo: Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo during Miami Masters (Photo: Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

The Croatian went big on a first serve, which paid off as Kubot sent the return wide with one of the breaks saved. However, stranded at the net, Kubot's attempted lob found the racket of Granollers whose return hit the net as the fourth seeds broke for a double break lead, which also left them serving for the opener.

Love 30 ahead, the 34-year-old Pole went out wide with his serve and allowed Kubot to safely place a return in the court as four break points arrived. The Croat/Spanish saved two break points but a solid, strong first serve from Kubot did the job with the Spaniards return hitting the net, 6-1. 

Dodig/Granollers fail to press home advantage

Both teams started the set by holding serve. The third game was dominated by the fourth seeds who continued to perform to high standards as triple break points went their way. Granollers then upped the anti on serve which allowed Dodig on both occasions to safely play a volley winner at the net to take the game to deuce. Another solid serve to the body of Kubot did the job for the Spaniard who impressively denied the fourth seeds for a third time to edge ahead at 1-2.

The pair looked more solid in the second set and just a few games later, they earned their first break points of the entire match, three of them with excellent play. Despite saving one break point, the fourth seeds fell behind with Dodig crunching a return winner down the line to go 2-4 infront and gain momentum. 

Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo celebrate winning a point (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)
Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo celebrate winning a point (Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images)

Things didn't go to plan for the seventh seeds who failed to consolidate and allowed the fourth seeds to break back immediately at the first time for 3-4 before consolidating to 15 with the match level again at 4-4. With the momentum flipped back to the fourth seeds, they then grabbed double breakpoints in the ninth game with quality defending at the net.

First time of asking, they broke with Kubot constantly firing powerful shot sat the Croat/Spanish pair who caved in. Now serving for the match at 5-4, Kubot/Melo raced away to a 15-40 lead thanks to solid serve and volleying skills. A great serve down the line did the job for the fourth seeds who advanced to the semifinals.