Rochester's Butorac advances to Australian Open doubles semis

  • Article by: STAFF REPORTS
  • Updated: January 21, 2014 - 6:57 AM

The 32-year-old, paired with South African Raven Klaasen, survived a three-set quarterfinal.

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A file photo of top-seeded Bob Bryan, left, and Mike Bryan, made their earliest exit from the Australian Open in 11 years, losing to American Eric Butorac and South African Raven Klaasen in the third round of the men's doubles 7-6 (9), 6-4 on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.

Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Eric Butorac didn't have a letdown a day after recording one of the biggest victories of his professional tennis career.

Pairing with South African Raven Klaasen, the 32-year-old Rochester native advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open men's doubles draw with a 6-7 (3) 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory over 12th-seeded Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot on Tuesday.

The victory came one day after the unseeded Butorac and Klaasen took down top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, sending the American brothers to their earliest exit from Melbourne since 2003. Butorac and Klaasen beat the six-time and defending Australian Open champions 7-6 (9), 6-4 in the third round Monday.

"We didn't need to do anything outside of what we normally do," Butorac said after Monday's match. "Playing our game is good enough to win. Our plays are good enough, our tactics are good enough."

In Tuesday's quarterfinals, Butorac and Klaasen lost a first-set tiebreaker before winning the second-set tiebreaker on their fourth set point. The turning point of the match came in the third set. Butorac, serving down 4-3 and 0-40, survived four break points to hold. Inglot was broken the next game for the only break of the match, and Klaasen closed the match out the following game.

Butorac, a former Rochester John Marshall and Gustavus Adolphus athlete who has played doubles his entire professional career, has matched his best career result at a Grand Slam tournament. He reached the Australian Open semifinals in 2011 with Jean-Julien Rojer. Butorac is 19-7 at the Australian Open in his career and 13-21 at the other three Grand Slam tournaments combined.

"This tournament has always been my best Slam," Butorac said Monday. "I have two good coaches who live down here who live down here who always help get me and whoever my partner has been incredibly prepared for what we're going to see that day. ... I don't know why I don't copy that in other tournaments as well."

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