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Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic defeat Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski for the third time this year to reach the Toronto quarter-finals.


Second and third seeds also advance to the last eight

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have dominated the ATP Tour in 2021, but on Thursday they barely escaped their opener against Britons Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski.

The Croatian stars saved a match point at 9/10 in the Match Tie-break before rallying past Evans and Skupski 3-6, 7-5, 13-11 to reach the quarter-finals of the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers. It was their third victory of the year against Evans and Skupski, with the previous two coming in the Miami and Monte Carlo finals.

Mektic kept his cool when serving down match point, delivering a big serve to get out of trouble. The top seeds, who have won nine titles this year — including the doubles gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics — will next play Dutchman Matwe Middelkoop and Australian Luke Saville.

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The second and third seeds also advanced to the last eight. Second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah eliminated Russian singles stars Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4, while third seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury ousted Kazakshtani Andrey Golubev and German Andreas Mies 6-3, 6-2.

In other action, Russian Aslan Karatsev and Serbian Dusan Lajovic beat fifth seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 6-4, and Belgians Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen battled past Dutchman Wesley Koolhof and American Austin Krajicek 7-6(5), 2-6, 10-8.

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