Mahut/Herbert Book Semi-final Spot In London

French duo defeat Krawietz/Mies on Wednesday

Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut clinched their place in the final four at the Nitto ATP Finals on Wednesday, beating Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 7-5, 7-6(3).

“We didn’t know before the match [that we needed to win in straight sets to qualify tonight]. We just wanted to come on court and win this match,” said Mahut. “I knew we had to play [at a] really high level and I think it is what we did today. We had a great start and they came back really strong… We are really happy with the win.”

The French pairing extended their winning streak to six matches after one hour and 33 minutes, winning 75 per cent of first-serve points (40/53) and saving three of five break points. Herbert and Mahut have not dropped a set since arriving at the Rolex Paris Masters.

“They played really well. A high-level match. They put a lot of returns in and played really well. I am happy that we stayed together, even in the tough moments,” said Herbert. “We were a break down in the second. I got broken twice in a row, I stayed in it and we managed to win this second set. That is what I am most proud of.”

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Strong backhand returns from Mahut earned the 2018 finalists an early break on their way to a 5-2 lead in the first set. But Krawietz and Mies responded well, as Mies fired multiple returns at the laces of Herbert to save set point and level the score at 5-5. The Frenchmen managed to snap Krawietz and Mies’ momentum with a love service hold before lobbing their opponents to take the opener after 41 minutes.

With Krawietz and Mies both firing forehand winners in the opening game of the second set, Herbert committed two double faults to drop serve. Mahut and Herbert found their way back into the set with a break at 4-3, before claiming victory in the tie-break. Herbert captured three mini-breaks with aggressive returning in the tie-break to improve his record with Mahut this year to 16-5.

Krawietz and Mies drop to 1-1 in Group Max Mirnyi, where they will face Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in their final round-robin match. Krawietz/Mies, Cabal/Farah and Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau can all still qualify for Saturday's semi-finals.

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