Kondo/Soeda stuns Gong/Li to reach the semis – Wuhai Challenger 2011 CH
A huge upset was seen in the quarter-finals of Wuhai Challenger, when the Japanese pair of Hiroki Kondo and Go Soeda defeated the number one seeded Chinese duo of Mao Xin Gong and Zhe Li on Thursday afternoon.
Being part of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Challenger Tour hard-court swing, the contest was staged in Wuhai, China, with the home favourite pair suffering an upset defeat at the hands of unseeded Japanese duo.
Kondo and Soeda wrapped up victory in three sets, settling the final scores at 7-5, 4-6, 10-8, after one hour and forty three minutes of sweating play to make it into the semi-finals of the tournament.
The Japanese competitors clinched the opening set after a stiff contest with Gong and Li but dropped the second set to the top seeded pair to take the matchup back on even terms. The Chinese hung in the game till the last minute
but it was the sheer brilliance of Kondo and Soeda which sealed victory in their name convincingly.
The opening set took off with extreme aggression from both teams to get the better of one another. Although Gong and Li reeled off 20 and their opponent clinched 16 first serve points in the set, the two serve breaks from the Japanese
pair made the all-important difference in the game. Both duos exchanged a serve break early in the opener to take the scores to 5-5 and a tie breaker round was about to come into play when Kondo and Soeda made their move to nail a crucial break point conversion,
closing out the first set at 7-5.
The top seeded Chinese pair showed its true class in the following set, using one serve break to bag the second set at 6-4 to enforce a third decisive set in the matchup. The decider also went on neck-to-neck but a critical mini-break
from Kondo and Soeda in the last moments of the game proved lethal for the top seeded pair, as the Japanese closed out victory at 10-8.
Kondo and Soeda will play against either the other wildcard Chinese pair of Feng He and Ze Zhang or the fourth seeded duo of Nicholas Monroe and Nikolaus Moser in the semis to fight for a berth in the final.