Leander Paes and Matthew Ebden continued their winning streak, beating Jonathan Erlich and Andrei Vasilevski 6-4, 3-6, 10-7 to enter the doubles final at the $1,62,000 Bengaluru Open ATP Tennis Challenger, in Bengaluru, on Friday.
The Indo-Australian pair got their act together when it mattered most, sneaking through in the tie-breaker, to set up a meeting with the Indian pair of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan in the final.
Raja-Ramanathan made the grade after Saketh Myneni and Australia’s Matt Reid retired following an injury to Reid.
Reid hurt his knee in the opening game of the second set when he ran back to retrieve a lob and fell on his knee. The Australian sought medical help, but it was not good enough to see him continue.
Scores ran neck and neck in the tie-breaker as Ebden's volley made it 2-2. Paes-Ebden forged ahead after a deft chip backhand service return took them to 6-5.
Erlich-Vasilevski fought back but a Paes sealed victory with a couple of fine serves.
Earlier, two more seeds fell by the wayside, as Italian Julian Ocleppo and Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi beat fancied opponents in the singles quarter-finals.
The 22-year-old Ocleppo knocked out 13th seeded Ilya Ivashka of Belarus, winning 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-4 while third seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan went down to unseeded Bonzi 7-6(5), 5-7, 4-6.
Bonzi will meet second seed Stefano Travaglia of Italy, who overcame a stiff challenge from 11th seed Blaz Rola of Slovakia before prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in ane hour and 56 minutes.
Ocleppo faces another stiff hurdle in the semi-finals where he is pitted against fourth seed James Duckworth of Australia, who overcame ninth seed Thomas Fabbiano of Italy 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-2.