Neal Skupski and fellow Briton Dan Evans face a rematch with third seeds Filip Polasek and Ivan Dodig in the Monte Carlo Masters Round of 16 on Thursday afternoon.
Skupski and Evans ran out 7-6 1-6 10-8 victors a fortnight ago when they met Polasek and Dodig in the semifinals of the Miami Open.
They went on to lose in the showpiece, but are renewing their bid for glory on clay.
Skupski and Evans prevailed in an 18-point tiebreak against Belgian duo Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen on Tuesday.
Thursday’s match is scheduled to begin at around 14:30 UK time.
Updates to follow…
Evans beats Djokovic!
An almighty boost for Skupski’s partner ahead of his doubles outing as he stuns world number one Novak Djokovic in the Men’s Singles.
Evans won 6-4 7-5 in two hours and seven minutes to progress to the quarterfinals. His confidence will have rocketed, but how much will that contest have sapped his energy? We’ll soon find out.
16:10 – Underway
Polasek is first to serve.
16:11 – Dodig/Polasek 1-0 Evans/Skupski
It’s a hold to love after Evans hits two forehands too deep.
16:16 – Dodig/Polasek 1-1 Evans/Skupski
Skupski hits a couple of forehands long from the right baseline in his first service game but Evans is on hand at the net to close it out to 30.
16:19 – Dodig/Polasek 2-1 Evans/Skupski
Another routine hold for the third seeds, sealed by a Polasek volley.
16:24 – Dodig/Polasek 3-1 Evans/Skupski
Polasek’s overhead smash and Evans’ unforced error bring up a 0-30 chance. Dodig blunders but then plants a backhand winner to earn two break two points.
The first goes begging, but Evans can’t reach another venomous Dodig backhand, and it’s 3-1.
16:28 – Dodig/Polasek 3-2 Evans/Skupski
Evans and Skupski break straight back! Evans’ excellent return makes it 15-30, and then Dodig twice falters at the net.
16:34 – Dodig/Polasek 4-2 Evans/Skupski
A third consecutive break of serve. Skupski lets Dodig & Polasek in by double-faulting at 30-15, then Evans fires a loose volley.
Dodig dissects the Brits with a winner.
16:36 – Dodig/Polasek 5-2 Evans/Skupski
A highly convincing hold to love puts the Australian Open champions in complete command of this first set.
16:40 – Dodig/Polasek 5-3 Evans/Skupski
A morale-boosting hold for Evans & Skupski, forcing their opponents to serve it out.
16:45 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 Evans/Skupski
Polasek can’t reach Evans’ return in time, and it’s a key break point for the Brits. But the third seeds hang on for deuce, and they eventually close out the game and the set with a Polasek ace down the middle.
16:51 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 0-1 Evans/Skupski
Evans serves first at the start of the second, and survives a scare. A 40-0 advantage shrinks, and Skupski then finds the net for deuce.
But a commanding Evans backhand clinches the game.
16:54 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 1-1 Evans/Skupski
Polasek answers with a hold to 30.
16:59 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 1-2 Evans/Skupski
Skupski is taken to deuce on serve but Polasek can’t lift a volley above the tape and a second chance to break goes begging for the leaders.
17:02 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 2-2 Evans/Skupski
No look-in for the returners. Dodig in ruthless mood.
17:06 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 2-3 Evans/Skupski
A third deuce after Evans skews a backhand wide, but a third hold. They’re hanging in there.
17:10 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 2-4 Evans/Skupski
Evans & Skupski break! They’ve looked far more vulnerable on serve, but Polasek hits the net twice to offer them two opportunities.
The Slovakian goes long after Evans’ fierce return, and it’s very much game on.
17:13 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 3-4 Evans/Skupski
The Brits fail to capitalise. A mighty response from Dodig & Polasek as they race into a 0-40 lead. Skupski serves well to reduce the arrears but he then finds the net with a forehand. How frustrating.
17:18 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 4-4 Evans/Skupski
Skupski whips a forehand into the left-hand corner for 30-30, then Evans punishes some miscommunication to earn a break point. But Polasek restores parity with a volley, and Dodig’s ace secures the game.
17:21 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 5-4 Evans/Skupski
The servers go up 40-15 but Evans has to go behind the back and can’t execute it. 40-30. Skupski fumbles the net. Deuce yet again.
Evans attempts to serve and volley but he can’t steer it above the tape. Just like that, Dodig and Polasek are one game away from victory.
17:25 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 5-5 Evans/Skupski
Neal Skupski refuses to lie down! After he fires two superb returns, Polasek makes a mess of a serve-volley and it’s 0-40.
The Liverpudlian then sends Dodig scurrying down the court, and he goes long in reply. Evans lets out a roar.
17:30 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 5-6 Evans/Skupski
The game swings on the best rally of the match at 15-15. Polasek goes for a whipped winner but it’s wide left, and Skupski then takes charge from the baseline. This second set is impossible to call!
17:33 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 6-6 Evans/Skupski
Polacek dispatches back-to-back winners from the net for a 40-15 lead, then Dodig crashes down an ace to take us to a tiebreak.
17:40 – Dodig/Polasek 6-3 6-7 Evans/Skupski
Evans & Skupski level the match! They race into a 4-1 lead in the breaker before Dodig comes alive to pull it back.
Evans then produces a perfect backhand onto the right tramline to bring up set point, and they take it.
It all swung on that effort from Djokovic’s conqueror. A decisive tiebreak awaits…
18:04 – Evans & Skupski win the match 3-6 7-6 13-11
A suitably topsy-turvy tiebreak after one hour and 52 minutes where the momentum swung back and forth.
Evans & Skupski led 3-0, saved three match points and then took the first one that came their way.
Skupski is the hero in the end, following-up a pair of excellent serves with a magnificent return down the line to clinch a place in the last eight.
(Main image licensed under Creative Commons)