London: Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna on Wednesday won their first Group B match with a 6-3 5-7 10-5 win over Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau to keep their semifinal hopes alive while Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek also made a winning start at the ATP World Tour Finals.
It was a good comeback for fifth seeds Bhupathi and Bopanna after losing the first match to Jonathan Marray and Frederik Nielse.
In a Group A match, third seeds Paes and Stepanek began their campaign with a 6-4 7-5 win over seventh seeded pair of Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Roger, yesterday.
In today`s match Bhupathi and Bopanna raced to a 3-0 lead by breaking Lindstedt`s serve in the second game. However, the sixth seed Romanian-Swedish team broke Bhupathi in the sixth game to get back on serve.
Lindstedt suffered a second successive break of serve to leave Bopanna to clinch the 28-minute opener with a hold.
Bhupathi, rock solid at the net, ended a short exchange with a forehand volley winner.
As the second set drew closer to a tie-break, with neither team looking likely to break serve, Lindstedt and Tecau raised their return games. Tecau hit a forehand winner on Bhupathi`s serve at 30/40 to capture the second set in 43 minutes.
In the Match tie-break, Lindstedt and Tecau broke clear at 3-3, winning two straight points for 5-3. But Bhupathi and Bopanna responded, turning it around, with seven points in a row, ending with a Tecau backhand wide.
Yesterday, Stepanek, making debut at the event, saved one break point on sudden death deuce in the second game. Rojer recovered from 30/40 at 3-3, before Qureshi was broken as Indo-Czech pair produced solid returns and attacked the net.
The Czech closed out the 41-minute set with his second ace.
Five points went against serve in the first six game of the second set, with Paes and Qureshi surviving sudden death deuces in the second and fifth games.
Stepanek won four straight points from 15/40 at 3-4, giving the Czech and Paes the impetus they needed to break Rojer to love for a 6-5 lead. Once again Stepanek closed out the set for victory.
Qureshi and Rojer were left to rue missing out on six break point opportunities.