London: India's Rohan Bopanna and Romanian Florin Mergea entered the semi-finals of the prestigious $7 million ATP World Tour Finals despite going down to Italian pairing of Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli in their men's doubles third match of the round robin encounter here on Thursday.
The fifth seeds Fognini-Bolelli completed their campaign with a 6-1, 1-6, 10-5 victory in 61 minutes over eighth seeds Bopanna and Mergea, who were already assured of topping Group Ashe/Smith at The O2 Arena here.
Bopanna dropped his serve to love in the opening game, which proved to be enough for the Italians to seal the first set in 31 minutes.
Bopanna and Mergea responded immediately, taking a 3-0 lead in the second set and broke Fognini once more for a 5-1 advantage. Mergea took the encounter to a match tie-break on their third set point opportunity, closing out to 30.
Fognini and Bolelli, having lost their first two group matches, broke into a 5/1 lead in the match tie-break and went on to record their 26th match win of the season, which included lifted the Australian Open title.
Bopanna and Mergea, 2-1 overall in round-robin play, will now prepare for Saturday's semi-finals against the Group Fleming/McEnroe runners-up.
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