Benoit Paire and Gilles Muller hit successful between-the-legs shots on the same point during Paire’s 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4) victory in round three of the Citi Open on Thursday night.
With Muller serving at 1-1 in the second set, Paire hit a forward-facing tweener lob that sent the Luxembourgian scrambling to the baseline. Muller’s response came in the form of a far more necessary tweener, which he sent whizzing past the Frenchman. Paire, who had sensibly approached the net, got a racket on it but could not prolong the entertaining point.
In the end, however, it was the No. 4 seed who got the job done in improbable fashion. He trailed 0-40 while serving at 5-5 in the deciding set and at 30-40 seemed to have lost the point–and the game–three different times. But Paire incredibly tracked down a Muller drop-shot, also retrieved a perfect lob, and then won the point when a backhand that appeared to going well long was left by Muller only to land right on top the baseline. Paire held serve two points later and eventually battled back from a 4-2 deficit in the ensuing ‘breaker by winning the last five points of the match, two thanks to shots off the net cord.