One of the biggest shocks in recent Davis Cup history was completed on Saturday afternoon when the US doubles team of Mike Bryan and Mardy Fish beat Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets to see the Americans through to April’s quarterfinals. The reverberations from John Isner’s stunning win over Federer on Friday night carried through to the doubles, which followed a very similar pattern to the Isner-Federer singles. The Swiss won the opening set and looked reasonably comfortable for a set and a half, but once the Americans had broken, the balance of power shifted, and Federer in particular fell away at the end as the US pair won 46 63 63 63 in 2 hours 18 minutes. Because so much was made of Federer’s return to the Davis Cup first round for the first time in eight years, it’s easy to see this result as a disaster for the Swiss. A disappointment it certainly is, but to view it as a disaster would be to take too much credit away from an American team that seems finally to have lost its fear of away clay.
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This year’s draw will be very strong as the top eight teams in the world as well as five Top 10 players have confirmed their entry. Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, Monfils and Almagro all entered.
The top-ranked Bryan brothers will be back to defend the title they won last summer in Toronto. Meanwhile, Canadian Daniel Nestor and his partner, Max Mirnyi of Belarus will be seeded second. Several players have decided to team up with their compatriots. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will team up with Janko Tipsarevic, Rafael Nadal will play with Marc Lopez, Gilles Simon will make up an all-French team with Richard Gasquet and two-time defending Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray will partner with his brother, Jamie Murray. In addition, Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have entered alongside Pablo Andujar and Stanislas Wawrinka, respectively.
The American team that will take on Chile for the fifth time in the first round of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is a combination of experience and a touch of newish blood. Twenty years after his debut as a player in the first round against Mexico in Mexico City, Jim Courier makes his debut as a captain in Santiago. As a player Jim Courier had a very solid record in Davis Cup. Other than his last tie, which was against Australia in Boston in 1999, every time he was in the USA side, they won and there were 13 of those team triumphs. His win-loss record as a player was 16-10 in singles and 1-0 in doubles. Courier has transitioned from player to team coach to captain, a career he is naturally very proud of. He joked that the “way my body feels” he’s more than happy to be on the bench and let others do the work. “As far as being captain, this is a great gig obviously when you get guys like this on your team, who love Davis Cup, they love to be here, they love to support United States tennis,” Courier said. “They are ready to go to battle and give everything they’ve got. It’s a huge honour, a thrill. Sure, I am on the learning curve this week as well. I think we will be in good shape. I am very comfortable and at ease with all of these guys already and hoping they feel the same way. My job is to stay out of their way.”
Courier leads the massively experienced Andy Roddick, the still developing John Isner and the world’s best doubles combination Bob and Mike Bryan. Roddick is returning to the fold after taking a year off from Davis Cup, Isner has played just two ties before, while the Bryans have never lost a Davis Cup doubles rubber on red clay, the chosen surface at the Estadio Nacional.
Bob and Mike Bryan spoiled the reunion party for Indian veterans Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi to claim their fifth Australian Open men’s doubles title in six years. The 32-year-old Bryans, the world’s top-ranked pairing, downed 36-year-old Bhupathi and 37-year-old Paes 6-3 6-4 to make it three straight titles at Melbourne Park, having also claimed the event in 2006 and 2007. Their five Australian Open crowns give them 10 grand slam titles as a combination overall, including at least one of each of the majors. They already held the record for the most tournament titles of any men’s pairing in the Open era, which they stretched to 68, seven clear of retired Australians Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge. They are also closing in on the Woodies’ collection of 11 grand slam trophies, and are within two of the Open era record of 12, held by another Australian pairing of John Newcombe and Tony Roche.
Bhupathi and Paes had been hoping to complete a remarkable comeback story. They were formerly a formidable combination, but their most recent previous grand slam tournament together was in 2002. The Indians had been seeking a career grand slam, each having won the French Open, US Open and Wimbledon either together, or with other partners during their long tennis estrangement.
The identical and identically-dressed Bryans – right-hander Mike is two minutes older than left-hander Bob – celebrated their victory with their familiar chest bump.
Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski kept Group A wide open at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Tuesday, when they saved three match points against World No. 1 team Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in a 6-2, 6-7(4), 10-8 victory. The 32-year-old Bryan twins could have qualified for the semi-finals if they had won after Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner had denied Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes their first win earlier in the day. Fyrstenberg and Matkowski came alive in the nick of time towards the end of the second set, fighting back for a famous win in one hour and 38 minutes that snapped a three-match losing streak against the Bryans.
The best measure of what India’s Rohan Bopanna and Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi accomplished at the U.S. Open could be found in the stands, not the scoreline.
The doubles team reached the U.S. Open final Wednesday, winning a match that brought the United Nations ambassadors from their long-at-odds countries to Flushing Meadows to watch the action together.
The idea of Pakistan and India on the same side of anything has long been considered far-flung. These neighboring countries have been through three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947 and spent most of the time between in a state of distrust and heightened military tension.
“This is sports, but it shows the great potential,” India’s ambassador, Hardeep Puri, told The Associated Press.
They lost 7-6, 7-6 in today’s final to Mike and Bob Bryan, the winningest doubles team in history.
Bopanna and Qureshi — the “Indo-Pak Express” they call themselves — came together more for convenience than for message-sending. There’s very little top-level tennis in Pakistan, so to find a partner, Qureshi had to look to his neighboring country.
They started in 2003, played on and off since then. Their story gathered steam earlier this year when they started wearing sweat shirts with slogans reading “Stop War, Start Tennis” as part of a campaign backed by a Monaco-based group called Peace and Sport.
The USTA conducted a tennis clinic featuring the QuickStart play format on the White House South Lawn with Sam Querrey and doubles team Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan on Tuesday, August 3. The event was part of the South Lawn Series, a summer-long series of events that brings local children, sports leagues and community programs together to the South Lawn in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to combat childhood obesity.
The clinic ran on two 78’ courts constructed on the South Lawn that housed eight 36’ courts specifically designed for children aged 10-and-under. USTA instructors partnered up with tennis players Sam Querrey and Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan to lead 100 local Washington youth from USTA National Junior Tennis & Learning chapters including the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, CREATE Tennis, the Southeast Tennis & Learning Center and the Junior Tennis Champions Center in a QuickStart clinic that demonstrated ways for kids to get 60 minutes of active play per day. Developed to keep kids active and expose them to tennis at an early age, the QuickStart play format provides kids with an exciting introduction to tennis by scaling down the game to better fit the needs of young children by utilising smaller balls, racquets and courts.
Bob and Mike Bryan won their record 62nd career doubles title on the ATP Tour on Sunday.
The twin brothers defeated American Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer of Netherlands Antilles 6-7 (8-6), 6-2 (10-7) in the Farmers Classic, the Bryans’ 100th career final.
They had been tied with Hall of Famers Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde of Australia, who won 61 titles.
“The Woodies put a record way out there. Sixty-one was Mount Everest when we started,” Mike Bryan said. “We love what we do. To get this, one of their many records, is special.”
Woodforde was on hand to congratulate the brothers.
“For many, many years you’ve been traveling in elite company. Thanks to the victory today you’re in rarefied air. You guys stand together as one,” he said. “I know this 62nd victory has been waiting since May. Our run sort of ended because I elected to retire, but I know you two will continue for years to come. The floodgates will open entirely, so I know 70, 80 will come.”
The Bryans won their sixth title in the tournament at the Los Angeles Tennis Center on the UCLA campus, not far from their hometown of Camarillo in Ventura County.
It was their 16th consecutive match win in the Farmers Classic. Mike jumped into Bob’s arms to celebrate in front of several family members, including parents Wayne and Kathy.
Andy Roddick proved to those who still didn’t believe, that he just can’t play on red clay as has lost in the third round of the French Open to 114th-ranked qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili of Russia.
Gabashvili beat the sixth-seeded Roddick 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 Saturday to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
Roddick was broken four times and never looked capable of turning the match around.
Throwing his racket and grumbling, Roddick tried to play more offensive tennis in the third set only to be punished by Gabashvili’s passing shots.
Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open but has only made it to the fourth round at Roland Garros once, last year.
American twins Bob and Mike Bryan have been upset in the second round of French Open men’s doubles by unseeded Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares.
The top-seeded Bryans lost 6-3, 7-6 (6) Saturday, ending their bid for a record 62nd career doubles championship.
They tied the Open era mark of 61 men’s doubles titles – originally set by the retired Australian pair of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde – by winning at the Madrid Masters two weeks ago.
In doubles matches, second-seeded Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan were thwarted in their attempt to claim their first BNP Paribas Open title, stunned by the Czech-German pairing of Tomas Berdych and Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(4), 7-5 in their opening match. Third seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes were also upset, falling to Spaniards Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 10-6.
Top seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic made their way safely into the second round as they defeated Eric Butorac and Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-4. Nestor and Zimonjic were finalists in 2008.
Here’s a question for all the tennis experts. When was the last time a male player won both singles and doubles titles at an ATP event?