Gonzalez/Molteni Top Murray/Venus To Reach Shanghai QFs

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Fifth-seeded Argentines Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni fought off all five break points against them to earn a 6-2, 6-4 win against Jamie Murray and Michael Venus on Monday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

The result boosts the Argentines’ bid for the Nitto ATP Finals by adding cushion to their fourth-place standing in the Pepperstone ATP Live Double Teams Rankings. For Murray/Venus, their exit leaves them just outside of the all-important top eight in ninth place, though the British/Kiwi pair has moved up one place this week from 10th.

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Gonzalez/Molteni picked up their second straight-sets win of the tournament in one hour, nine minutes thanks in large part to a strong performance on second serve. The pair won 83 per cent (10/12) of points behind their second delivery, trumping their 72 per cent mark (26/36) on first serve.

The Argentines are through to the Shanghai quarter-finals, where they will meet third seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury or Rinky Hijikata and Cameron Norrie. Ram/Salisbury opened their campaign on Monday with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Aussies Alexei Popyrin and Aleksandar Vukic, while Hijikata/Norrie edged the big-serving duo of Hubert Hurkacz and Ben Shelton 7-5, 5-7, 10-6.

Two other seeded teams joined Gonzalez/Molteni in the quarters with Monday wins of their own. Second seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski beat wild cards Gonzalo Escobar and Aleksandr Nedovyesov 7-6(2), 6-4 and eighth seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer defeated Germans Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz 6-7(6), 6-4, 10-7.

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