Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki were to be seen chest-bumping in style on Monday at the BNP Paribas Open as they ousted top seeds and defending champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 5-7, 6-1, 11-9.
With the crowd enthralled on Stadium 2, the Serbian pair saved one match point at 8/9 in the Match Tie-break, winning the final three points to prevail in 86 minutes.
Djokovic is bidding to win his second ATP World Tour doubles crown and first in seven years, since triumphing at The Queen’s Club with Jonathon Erlich. Troicki is chasing his second title of the season after winning Sofia with Nenad Zimonjic.
Fans were denied a match-up between Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. Nadal and Bernard Tomic held three match points, but could not close out victory over sixth seeds Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram, falling 3-6, 7-6(4), 11-9.
Australian Open champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers cruised into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Alexander and Mischa Zverev. They will face Gilles Muller and Sam Querrey, who edged Florin Mergea and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 6-1, 1-6, 10-6.
Fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares advanced with a 7-6(3), 6-3 victory over Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi. Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau denied the Murray brothers a quarterfinal clash, though, with Rojer and Recau defeating Andy Murray and Daniel Evans 6-4, 6-3.