Lopez/Lopez Save 1 MP To Beat Kontinen/Peers
The 2016 champions moved one step away from their second final in three years at the clay-court Grand Slam championship, saving match point at 4-5 (30/40) in the deciding set before breaking serve and securing victory after two hours and 21 minutes.
The Spaniards, who won their third team title at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in April, led by a set and a double break before the Nitto ATP Finals champions rallied to force a decider. Kontinen and Peers broke first, but the No. 12 seeds held their nerve, breaking back in the 10th game to extend the match before clinching victory on their first match point in the third-set tie-break.
Lopez/Lopez won 70 per cent of first-serve points throughout the last-eight contest and converted four of nine break points en route to victory. They will meet fifth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah or ATP Doubles Race To London leaders Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic for a place in the final.
In third-round action, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut reached the quarter-finals for the first time as a team, defeating American duo Steve Johnson and Jack Sock 6-4, 6-3. The sixth seeds advanced after 71 minutes, winning 44 per cent of return points to finally navigate past the Round of 16.
Herbert and Mahut held an 0-2 record in Roland Garros fourth-round encounters prior to the win, losing to Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock in 2015 and eventual champions Lopez/Lopez the following year. The Frenchmen will face unseeded duo Maximo Gonzalez and Nicolas Jarry in the quarter-finals.
Did You Know?
Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez are bidding to become the first Spanish duo in the Open Era to win multiple titles at Roland Garros. In 2016, they became just the second all-Spanish team to lift the trophy in the Open Era, following in the footsteps of 1990 champions Sergio Casal and Emilio Sanchez. Sanchez did win two doubles titles at the event, but his first triumph in 1988 came alongside Ecuador's Andres Gomez.