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Kubot/Melo Produce Masterclass, Qualify For Semi-finals

Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo qualified for the semi-finals of the Nitto ATP Finals on Wednesday by improving to a 2-0 record in Group Woodbridge/Woodforde.

Kubot and Melo, the year-end No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, defeated four-time former season finale champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-4, 6-3 in one hour at The O2 in London.

Kubot and Melo, who beat seventh seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers on Monday to officially become the best team of 2017, are now 48-16 on the season that includes seven trophies — including three at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments.

Top seeds Kubot and Melo were aggressive from the start, with Mike Bryan feeling the pressure in the third game, when Kubot struck a backhand winner down the line at 30/40. It proved to be the only service break of the 30-minute first set.

Although the fifth-seeded Bryans took more chances in the second set, the quality of Melo at the net and Melo on return was exceptional. Bob Bryan escaped one deciding deuce point — and four break point chances for Kubot and Melo — at 2-2, but at 3-3, on Mike Bryan’s serve, the Polish-Brazilian team earned the crucial break with Kubot returning low and Melo intercepting the response for a backhand volley winner.

Pumped up throughout, Melo ended the hour-long encounter with a volley into space. Kubot and Melo are now 3-0 lifetime in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the Bryans, the Nitto ATP Finals champions of 2003-04, 2009 and 2014.

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