Jonny Marray and Frederik Nielsen suffered their first defeat of the ATP World Tour Finals group stage as Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau exacted revenge for their Wimbledon final defeat with a straight sets victory at the O2 Arena in London.
Having already qualified for Sunday's semi-final, the Wimbledon champions went into the match against the winless Lindstedt and Tecau knowing the result wouldn't impact on their future participation in the competition.
And that contributed to the pair producing an uncertain display, with Lindstedt and Tecau securing a set advantage, before denying their opponents of the second set tie-break with a 12th game break to take the match 6-3 7-5.
Marray and Nielsen suffer defeat but will still feature in the semi-final.
With both pairs' fate already sealed, Marray and Nielsen having qualified following their two victories in the group stage, and Linstedt and Tecau having made a premature exit courtesy of their opening two defeats, the match represented a dead rubber as both duos were set to go in opposite directions in the competition.
In a repeat of the Wimbledon men's doubles final it was the already knocked-out pair of Linstedt and Tecau who made the more impressive start, spurning two break points in the opening game from 15-40 as a Nielsen ace salvaged the game.
The victors from the All-England Club in the summer were put under more pressure in their third service game, and after Marray twice double faulted, to gift three more break points, the Brit netted an overhead volley to deliver the first break.
And at 5-3 with Marray and Nielsen serving, the No.4 seeds took a second and decisive break in the set as a stunning Lindstedt backhand secure the set 6-3.
But the initiative was short-lived as the third game of the second set saw Nielsen produce a superb forehand winner, which flicked the baseline.
The advantage was erased just three games later as Nielsen's attempted drop shot on the half volley found the net and suddenly from being a break up, Marray and Nielsen had lost three games on the trot.
A solid Marray service game saw the home favorites stem the flow, and when called upon to serve to stay in the match, Nielsen mirrored his teammates' effort and Lindstedt and Tecau's own service game represented a procession as the set seemed certain to go to a tie-break.
But after getting to 40-15 in the 12th game, Marray failed to make two successie first serves, allowing Lindstedt to power a forehand down the line to take the match in straight sets, a consolation for their defeat at The Championships four months previous.
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