Top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah stormed past Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-2,6-4 on Wednesday to book a spot into the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell quarter-finals.
The defending Barcelona champions made a strong start in both sets against Herbert and Mahut, rallying to a 4-0 lead in the first set and starting the second with an early break. The Colombians never dropped serve, saving all six break points faced en route to victory.
Cabal and Farah will face the unseeded Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski for the second time in as many weeks. The Brits stunned Cabal and Farah in a roller coaster 7-6(0), 2-6, 10-4 victory on their way to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final last week.
Also in action at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899, Ivan Dodig and Jamie Murray cruised past Spanish wild cards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez 6-3, 6-1. Dodig and Murray needed just 61 minutes and combined for four aces to take down the 2018 champions.
Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin triumphed in a marathon all-French battle against qualifiers Adrian Mannarino and Benoit Paire. Mannarino and Paire saved match point in the second set to bring up a Match Tie-break, but their countrymen edged past them 7-6(1), 6-7(4), 10-8.
Brkic/Cacic Battle Through In Belgrade
At the Novak Tennis Centre in Belgrade, Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic took down fourth seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Matwe Middelkoop 6-4, 7-6(5) to make a winning start to their Serbia Open campaign.
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The Argentina Open champions had to save three set points late in the tight second set as Arevalo and Middelkoop fought to take them into a Match Tie-break, creating chances on both the Bosnian-Serbian duo’s serves. But Brkic and Cacic, who combined to save nine of the 11 break points they faced, held firm to win in straight sets after an hour and 33 minutes.
They will next face Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez in the quarter-finals. The Italian-Argentine team fought past Serbian wild cards Miomir Kecmanovic and Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4 to advance.
Elsewhere at the Novak Tennis Centre, Croatian wild cards and twin brothers Ivan Sabanov and Matej Sabanov took down Aljaz Bedene and Divij Sharan 6-1, 6-3 to become the first team to reach the semi-finals. Australians John Millman and John-Patrick Smith also advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Marcelo Demoliner and Santiago Gonzalez.