Go Jonny, go! Marray and Neilsen pip defending champions to reach last four
21:06 GMT, 7 November 2012
The dream continued for Wimbledon champions Jonny Marray and Freddie Nielsen as they became the first qualifiers for the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Having stunned the world's best doubles players to triumph at the All England Club in the summer, Marray and Nielsen have picked up where they left off and defeated defending champions Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 12-10 at the O2 Arena.
Safe passage: Freddie Nielsen and Jonny Marray (left) celebrate victory over Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor
Belarusian Mirnyi and Canadian Nestor have 19 grand slam doubles titles between them and six World Tour Finals crowns but they came out second best to the debutants.
The result of the afternoon match in Group B meant Marray and Nielsen knew victory would assure them of a last-four spot after their opening win over Indian pair Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna on Monday.
Prepared: Marray (left) braces himself for a volley at the net
The Anglo-Danish duo again made a good start, with Nielsen securing a break in the seventh game on a deciding deuce point, but Marray was unable to serve out the set.
They played a great tie-break, though, pulling away after sharing the first four points before Marray served an ace to clinch it.
In control: Marray returns a volley during a stunning victory at the O2
The second set did not begin so well as a Nielsen double fault gave the champions an immediate advantage, and it was one Marray and Nielsen were unable to claw back.
They won their first match on a deciding tie-break, and that was the scenario again as the O2 crowd lapped up the drama.
Tall order: Marray talks tactics to Nielsen
It was tight from the start with no more than two points between the pairs all the way through. The first match point went to Marray and Nielsen after the Yorkshireman hit an ace but he then netted the return.
The next chance went to Mirnyi and Nestor but this time Nielsen held firm on serve, and when Marray and the Dane had another chance they took it, Nestor volleying fractionally long.