Bopanna-Qureshi overcome fighting Bhupathi-Istomin

Second seeds Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi survived a scare before diffusing the challenge of Mahesh Bhupathi and Denis Istomin in the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 Dubai Duty Free Championships here on Thursday.

The Indo-Pak Express came back from a set down to beat their unseeded but very experienced rivals 5-7, 7-6 (7-3), 10-7 to move to the semifinals of the $2,359,935 hard court event.

After two tight sets, the Super tie-breaker was no different as the two pair were neck and neck in the opening 10 points. The second seeds then took three points in a row which put Bhupathi and Istomin under pressure.

They were down by three match point but managed to save only one as Bopanna and Qureshi sealed it in style in one hour and 30 minutes.

Bopanna and Qureshi will next play Poland’s Tomasz Bednarek and Lukas Dlouhy of Czech Republic.

Top seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic booked their spot in the semifinals with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut and Igor Sijsling in 59 minutes. The duo, who reached the 2001 final, will now play Daniel Brands and Florian Mayer.

In the singles competition, Philipp Kohlschreiber recorded the 300th match win of his career when he advanced to the semifinals. Seventh seed Kohlschreiber joined Tommy Haas (553 wins) as the second active German player to reach the milestone after he defeated wild card Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-3 in 72 minutes.

Top seed Novak Djokovic, the four-time Dubai champion, will need to beat fourth seed and five-time champion Roger Federer or Lukas Rosol in the semifinals if he is to notch his 550th match win. Djokovic reached the last-four stage when sixth seed Mikhail Youzhny, the 2007 and 2012 runner-up, pulled out ahead of their Thurday clash due to illness.

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