Cabal/Farah Keep Semi-final Hopes Alive
Fifth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah improved to 1-1 in Red Group doubles play on Wednesday at the Nitto ATP Finals. The Colombians recorded their first win over seventh seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares in two-and-a-half years, 6-2, 6-4 in 76 minutes at the Pala Alpitour in Turin.
Cabal and Farah, who reached the semi-finals in 2018 and 2019 at the season finale, will now aim to beat second seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury on Friday. The long-time friends, who finished 2019 as year-end No. 1s in the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings, are now 37-19 on the season with three titles.
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Murray struggled with his ball toss in the first game, and paid the price on second serve when Cabal poached for a volley winner. Farah saved two break points at 3-2, courtesy of two volleys from Cabal, and the Colombians went on to take the first set in 34 minutes, with Murray and Soares winning 38 of their second-service points.
They carried the momentum into the second set, with Farah striking a forehand winner to break Soares to love in the first game. Soares started to return better, but Farah saved a deciding Deuce point for a 4-2 lead and, having come through their first pressure situation, the fifth seeds raised their games. Murray was broken to love with a forehand return winner from Farah to drop to 2-5, but the British-Brazilian tandem soon recovered one break.
It was Cabal and Farah's first win over Murray and Soares, who are now 25-15 on the season, since April 2019 in the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell final.