Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles survived a stern test from Johan Brunstrom of Sweden and Jean-Julien Rojer of Netherland Antilles before reaching the pre-quarterfinals of the men's doubles event at French Open in Paris on Saturday.
The fourth seeded Indo-Bahamian pair toiled for nearly three hours before edging out their opponents 7-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (3) in the gruelling second round match.
Bhupathi and Knowles had a match point in the second set but their rivals displayed tremendous resilience to push the match to tie-breaker in the third set.
Eventually, Bhupathi and Knowles' experience stood them in good stead as they held their nerve to move to the pre-quarters.
The first set saw a curious fight as the first 11 games went with the serve. It looked that tie-breaker would come into play as Brunstorm and Rojer were up 40-0 in the 12th game but Bhupathi-Knowles turned things around amazingly and went on to break them to seal the set.
Brunstrom and Rojer bounced back in the second set as they held their serve throughout, saved a match point in the 10th game, won the set in a tie-breaker and forced the decisive third set.
There was no break in the third set and eventually the match ended in favour of Bhupathi and Knowles, who reeled off five consecutive points to win the tie-breaker.