Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic secure year-end doubles No. 1 ranking

Tennis: Marach and Pavic survived a Paris Masters quarter-final thriller to clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic secure year-end doubles No. 1 ranking

Austria's Oliver Marach and Croatian Mate Pavic have secured the year-end doubles No. 1 ranking with a Paris Masters quarter-final win over American John Isner and Briton Neal Skupski. Top-seeded Marach and Pavic survived a thriller as they edged out Isner and Skupski 7-6 (6) 6-7 (4) 12-10 in just less than two hours of action.

Marach, 37, and 25-year-old Pavic have had an outstanding season as they have played nine finals so far this year. Marach and Pavic, the 2018 Australian Open champions, ended on the winning side in four of those nine finals.

Marach and Pavic didn't convert any of their two set points in the ninth game of their Paris quarter-final match before they blew two more set points on their serve in the following game as Isner and Skupski made it all tied at 5-5 in the opening set.

The No. 1 seeds blew one more set point during the tie-break -- but didn't pay the price as they converted their sixth set point to clinch the opener. Marach and Pavic recovered from a break down in the second set before they blew three match points on Isner and Skupski's serve in the 12th game.

Isner and Skupski then opened a quick 6-1 tie-break lead -- blew their first three-set points -- but converted their fourth to force a decider. Isner and Skupski failed to convert two match points during the match tie-break as Marach and Pavic converted their fourth match point to clinch a hard-fought win.

Marach and Pavic will be clashing against Marcel Granollers and Rajeev Ram in the Paris semi-final. Also read: 'Confident Novak Djokovic has exceeded all of his expectations'

Oliver Marach Mate Pavic Paris Masters
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