Bryan Brothers Foundation Raises More Than $100,000

Bryan Bros, Dave McKinney, Mark Knowles and Andy Roddick

Bryan Bros, Dave McKinney, Mark Knowles and Andy Roddick

(October 12, 2013)  CAMARILLO, Calif.  – The V-Grid Tennis Fest Featuring the Bryan Brothers once again raised more than $100,000 for both the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association and the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons, as well as other local causes and regional charities supported by the Bryan Bros. Foundation.
The fundraiser was presented by Alexander Cadillac.
The 15-time Grand Slam champions and world No. 1 doubles team Mike and Bob Bryan faced former Davis Cup teammate Andy Roddick and Mark Knowles in an entertaining exhibition match that had no shortage of amazing shots.
“It was our best-ever event once again,” Tennis Fest organizer Dave McKinney said. “Every year we up it. It sold out and we had close to a thousand people and it was standing room only. The quality of the tennis during the exhibition was the best ever and the entertainment value was even better.
“This is really turning into a must-attend event in Ventura County.”
More than 40 local wineries and restaurants participated and the Bryan Bros. performed for the crowd.
“We are so appreciative that the community came out to support our Foundation and the Tennis Fest,” Mike Bryan added. “Having Andy and Mark come out was awesome as well.”
For more information on the Bryan Bros. Foundation see the website at: http://www.bryanbros.com/about-the-foundation.html. The tournament website is: www.bbtennisfest.com.

David Ferrer is Fourth Player to Qualify for ATP World Tour Finals


(October 7, 2013) David Ferrer becomes the latest player to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals, to be held in London from November 4-11. The 31-year-old Spaniard is the fourth singles player after Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray to qualify for the eight-man season finale.  This will be his fourth straight year playing in the event, fifth overall. Ferrer was a finalist in this event in 2007 falling to Roger Federer.

“I’m very happy to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the fifth time,” said Ferrer. “At the beginning of the year it’s always a goal to make it to London and if you finish in the Top 8 then you know that you’ve had a good season. The O2 is an amazing venue to play at and the great fans help to bring the event alive.”

Four singles and five team spots remain up for grabs with four weeks remaining in the regular ATP World Tour season. Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka currently hold down the fifth to eighth spots in the Emirates ATP Race To London.


Andy Murray Becomes Third Player To Qualify For 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Andy Murray Courtesy of adidas

From the ATP World Tour:(September 10, 2013) LONDON – Andy Murray will look to maintain his unbeaten record on home soil this year with victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The Scot has become the third player to qualify for the season finale, to be held at The O2 in London from 4-11 November. Murray, who reached the quarter-finals at the US Open, secured his place at the season finale for the sixth straight year.

“I’ve played some of my best tennis in front of my home crowd at Queen’s and Wimbledon this year so hopefully I can keep up that run of form at The O2 in November,” said Murray. “It will be great to compete in London again for the first time since winning Wimbledon. It’s a key focus for me for the rest of the season and I’ll do everything I can to give myself the best chances of winning it. The atmosphere there is always special – to win it would be the perfect way to finish the season.”

The 26-year-old Murray joins Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic as the first singles players to qualify for the elite eight-man event. The trio currently leads the Emirates ATP Race To London standings.

Dunblane-born Murray has a 12-0 record on home soil this season, preceding his historic Wimbledon triumph with victory at the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club. The Scot was also a finalist at the Australian Open and collected titles at the Brisbane International and the Sony Open in Miami.

Murray is a three-time semi-finalist at the season finale, reaching the last four in Shanghai in 2008 (l. to Davydenko) and London in 2010 (l. to Nadal) and 2012 (l. to Federer). He is bidding to become the first British player to win the season finale.

US Open doubles champions Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek and runners-up Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares have also secured their berths at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, qualifying behind three-time former champions Bob and Mike Bryan.

Stepanek, who along with Paes reached the semi-finals last year at The O2, stated it was their goal to win the title. “That’s the trophy which is missing in Leander’s showcase. That’s what I’m very focused on, that’s what I would like to deliver,” he said.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than a million fans to The O2 arena over the past four years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets to the tournament, which takes place from 4-11 November, can be purchased at: http://www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals – The Contenders
(Based on the calendar-year Emirates ATP Race To London standings as of Tuesday, 10 September 2013.)


Pos. Name YTD Points
1. R. Nadal (ESP) 11,010
2. N. Djokovic (SRB) 7,970
3. A. Murray (GBR) 5,790
4. D. Ferrer (ESP) 4,900
5. T. Berdych (CZE) 3,405
6. J. Martin del Potro (ARG) 3,365
7. R. Federer (SUI) 3,055
8. S. Wawrinka (SUI) 2,925
9. R. Gasquet (FRA) 2,765
10. J. Tsonga (FRA) 2,455
11. M. Raonic (CAN) 2,105
12. T. Haas (GER) 2,085
13. J. Isner (USA) 2,015
14. N. Almagro (ESP) 1,795
15. F. Fognini (ITA) 1,785
16. T. Robredo (ESP) 1,765



Pos. Team YTD Points
1. B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 12,705
2. A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) 6,185
3. M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 3,350
4. L. Paes (IND) / R. Stepanek (CZE) 2,990
5. A. Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) 2,695
6. I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 2,685
7. M. Fyrstenberg (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 2,540
8. D. Marrero (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) 2,250
9. J. Benneteau (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 2,220
10. S. Gonzalez (MEX) / S. Lipsky (USA) 2,030
11. M. Mirnyi (BLR) / H. Tecau (ROU) 1,970
12. R. Lindstedt (SWE) / D. Nestor (CAN) 1,965
13. N. Mahut (FRA) / M. Llodra (FRA) 1,515
14. T Huey (PHI) / D. Inglot (GBR) 1,470
15. S. Bolelli (ITA) / F. Fognini (ITA) 1,365
16. J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 1,355

Bold denotes qualification


Grand Slam Dream Vanishes as Bryan Brothers Lose in US Open Semis

Bob and Mike Bryan

Bob and Mike Bryan

(September 5, 2013) The pursuit of a calendar Grand Slam is over for Bob and Mike Bryan. The Bryan bothers lost to Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the US open on Thursday afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

The loss ended a 28 match winning streak at the majors for the Americans. Before today their last loss at a major was in the semifinals of last year’s Wimbledon to Jonathan Marray of Britain and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark.

The Australian team of Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman in 1951 is still the only team to win all four tennis majors in a calendar year.

“We’re very disappointed,” said Bob Bryan.  “I mean, as competitors we hate to lose, and we knew what was riding on this match and the opportunity of what we could have accomplished.

“Got that.  And then in one sense it’s, you know, it’s a little bit of a relief where you get to kind of exhale for the first time in a few months.

You know, all this Grand Slam talk has been in the back of our head, and it’s been an honor to be a part of this run with Mike.  It’s been a great 12 months.

“You know, we would have never dreamed it would have been this sweet and we would have scraped out this many close matches.

“Today all that kind luck that’s been on our side went against us.  Those guys played a great match, and, you know, we wish them luck in the finals.  But, yeah, it’s a little bit of a relief.  You know, now we can move on and work on the next run.”

“I have tremendous respect for the boys,” said Paes.  “They are great champions, great ambassadors for the game.

“Just the record that they have even before this year shows how great they are as a team.  What they have done this year is something really special.

“In one context, going out there to play today we knew we were playing for our year.”

“I definitely don’t think this is top 10 toughest moments,” Bob Bryan said.  “The toughest moments have been Davis Cup losses when you know you’ve let your team down.

“I feel like, you know, we haven’t let anyone down.  I mean, I know there is a lot of people following us and a lot of people pulling for us.  Yeah, maybe we have disappointed a few people who wanted this to happen.

“But for us I feel like those Davis Cup losses have been the toughest.  You’re devastated you lost a pivotal point for your country.”

Last year it was the Bryan brothers who stopped Stepanek and Paes in last year’s US Open final.

“I can’t say enough about my partner,” Paes.  “We have got a little bit more work to do this week, but what he has been through this year, both him and I know.  For me that will come with me to my grave, and I will always be with him in his corner no matter where we go in our lives, no matter what we do.

“I think that’s what gives us strength on the court.  As some of you know in the media, Radek had an injury in the Australian Open, went through spinal surgery in his neck, and has got a few little battle wounds right now to show for it.

“He looks as tough as anybody, but the way he’s recovered, the way he’s done his rehab, the way he’s stayed with it, to me, along with some other adversities this year, shows off a great champion that he is.

“Beginning of the year when he got injured I got lots of phone calls to play with other guys, but that’s not what you do.  What you do is you stand by your partner.  I have tremendous belief in him, and he’s really shown that belief coming good.

“So like I said, we’ve got a little bit more work to do this week, but I’m very proud of the partner I share the court with.  He’s probably the best partner I have had.  I really enjoy playing with him.”


Bryan Brothers Keep Calendar Slam Hopes Alive with Comeback Win at US Open

Bryan Brothers Photo by Kevin Ware

Bryan Brothers Photo by Kevin Ware

(September 1, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – The dream of a calendar Grand Slam is still alive for brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, but on Sunday in the third round of the US Open they had a scare from the Canadian pair in Daniel Nestor and Vasek Posposil.

The Beyans, defending champions were down a set and a break against the Canadians on before pulling out a 6-7 (1), 7-5, 6-2 win.

After losing the first set the Bryan Brothers did something that had not done in three years – switched sides.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Mike Bryan said of switching receiving sides.  “It’s a pretty big deal because we just never practice the other way.  I have only taken a few deuce court returns in the last three, four years.  I don’t see it very often.

“We’re not very comfortable with our second shots.  We’re not used to poaching with our backhand volleys in the middle.  But when you’re desperate, you kind have nothing to lose just because we didn’t have much hope the other way.

“We have done it against Nestor in the past.  You know, we switched up with him in the Aussie Open final and it worked a few times against him.

“It was Bob’s idea.  He just came up to me.  He’s like, You want to switch?”

he was creating some incredible angles in the deuce court wide, and he was serving the lefty T, so it felt like the box was huge.

“I thought I would have a little bit better chance in the ad where he would have to come right down the T to my backhand, and if I slid around I would get more forehands,” said Bob Bryan.

“It ended up working out, but, yeah, it was just a desperate cal.  I mean, we were feeling a little bit hopeless on the return games, and throwing in a switch like that sometimes is a psychological advantage.  You know, the physical game plan worked to our advantage.”

The Bryans are attempting to become the first men’s double’s team in the open era and first since 1951 to achieve a true Grand Slam by winning all four majors in the same year.


Bryans To Finish No. 1 In Year-End ATP Doubles Team Rankings For Record 9th Time

Photo by Kevin Ware

Photo by Kevin Ware

PONTE-VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA, U.S.A. — American brothers Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking for a record ninth time and for the fifth consecutive season.

The 35-year-old twins were guaranteed the year-end No. 1 ranking after winning their 25th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Never before has a team clinched year-end No. 1 this early in a season. Cincinnati was their 10th title of an outstanding 2013 campaign, which has seen them triumph at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, making them the first team in tennis history to hold all four majors and the Olympic gold medal at the same time.

They were also champions in Sydney, Memphis, Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome and Queen’s, as well as finalists at Houston and Monte-Carlo.  Beginning in Madrid in May, they compiled a remarkable 25-match winning streak, which eventually came to an end in the Montreal quarter-finals in August.

They now go to the US Open looking to become the first team in the Open Era to win the calendar Grand Slam. Not since Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman in 1951 has a team won all four Grand Slams in a season.

“To clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking this early in the season is a dream come true,” said Bob. “It’s always our ultimate goal starting out each season and this will give us great confidence going into New York. There is still a lot of tennis left and we want to keep our foot on the gas.”

Together with Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, the Bryans are one of only two teams to have won every Grand Slam title as well as an Olympic gold medal. They have won the most doubles team titles in the Open Era with 92, and Mike has the most individual titles with 94.

They also finished as the ATP World Tour No. 1 Doubles Team in 2003, ’05-’07 and ’09-12. As individuals, Mike has been ranked No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings for 342 weeks and Bob for 333.

The Bryans are bidding to crown their season by winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the fourth time, adding to titles in 2003-04 and 2009. They have qualified for the eight-team season finale for the 11th straight year (2003-2013) and 12th time overall (also 2001).

Buy Tickets To See The Bryans At The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.


Year Player
2013 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2012 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2011 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2010 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2009 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2008 Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic
2007 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2006 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2005 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2004 Mark Knowles/Daniel Nestor
2003 Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan
2002 Mark Knowles/Daniel Nestor
2001 Jonas Bjorkman/Todd Woodbridge
2000 Todd Woodbridge/Mark Woodforde

Bryan Brothers Withdraw From Atlanta and Rain Dampens Qualifying

Bryan Brothers China Open 2

By Herman Wood

(July 20, 2013) ATLANTA, GA – The BB&T Open got underway today in Atlanta, even though Mother Nature had some say, as the afternoon was interrupted by rain.  As of this writing, the first round of qualifying was still underway.  Four players will advance to the main draw.  From the University of Georgia, Nathan Pasha was unable to get by Mitchell Frank, of the University of Virginia, despite winning the first set.  Frank advanced, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.   Georgia Tech graduate Kevin King advanced over Jimmy Wang 7-6(4), 1-0, retired.  Robby Ginepri and Donald Young, both locally connected players, also advanced to the second round of qualifying.


The tournament experienced a significant loss in the withdrawal of the Bryan Brothers from doubles.  Atlanta is a serious doubles town as it is the home of the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association, a league built primarily on doubles play as part of a team.  Bob cited a recurrence of a left shoulder injury.  “We regretfully have decided not to play in Atlanta next week.  We feel badly as we have lots of friends and fans in the Atlanta area and would have loved to have seen everyone.  We need to take some time off to allow our bodies to recuperate.”  Though the need for rest is understandable and the brothers were far from alone in taking time off or even withdrawing from a commitment, perhaps the posting of a video horsing around with Dirk Nowitzki on a basketball court might not have been.  The video can be seen at: http://www.whosay.com/bryanbros/videos/381145?wsref=tw

Bryan Bros on WhoSay
In their statement, they did indicate that they hope to return next year.  Tournament director Bob Bryant said “The Bryans are both dedicated professionals and I know this decision was not taken lightly.”


A planned doubles exhibition that was to feature the Bryans is still on at 7 PM Monday night with a “Brodown”.  Ryan and Christian Harrison, James and Thomas Blake, and Jack and Eric Sock will play ten point match tiebreaks in an exhibition.  Georgia Tech “brothers” Juan Spir and Kevin King will fill in the fourth spot and have received a wild card into doubles.  They were roommates for three years and have the most doubles wins in the school’s history.  Wimbledon finalists Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo will get the top seed in doubles and will play the Harrisons in the first round.


A final wild card was also announced today for singles, going to a former University of Tennessee star, Rhyne Williams.  He was a finalist at the 2011 NCAA division I tournament.  His top professional result was a semifinal appearance at this year’s Houston event.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood


Nadal, Bryan Brothers First To Qualify For Barclays ATP World Tour Finals


(June 10, 2013) LONDON – Rafael Nadal will attempt to add the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title to his collection when he returns to The O2 in London this November. The 27-year-old Spaniard has become the first singles player to secure his berth at the prestigious season finale after capturing the Roland Garros title for an eighth time on Sunday.

Nadal has now qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals nine straight years, achieving his best finish in 2010 when he lost to Roger Federer in the final. The Spaniard was forced to miss the 2012 tournament, having been sidelined the second half of the season with a left knee injury.

Since returning to the ATP World Tour in February after a seven-month absence, Nadal has reached the final in all nine of his tournaments, winning seven titles. The stunning run has seen the Spaniard move to first place in the Emirates ATP Race To London with 7,000 points.

In addition to claiming his 12th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, Nadal extended his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles record to 24 with his triumphs at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Mutua Madrid Open and Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. He also claimed titles at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo, Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco and Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, taking his career total on clay to 42.

Andre Silva, Tournament Director, said, “Rafa has had an incredible comeback since returning to action on the ATP World Tour in February and is truly deserving of becoming the first singles player to qualify for the 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. His qualification is fantastic news for tennis fans in the UK and we look forward to welcoming him back to The O2 in London in November.”

The doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan have also clinched their berth at the season finale, qualifying for the 12th consecutive time. The 35-year-old Americans are three-time Barclays ATP World Tour Finals champions, winning in 2003-04 and ’09.

The Bryans will be looking to finish at No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings for a ninth time and a fifth consecutive season. They have won seven titles in 2013, including the Australian Open and Roland Garros crowns.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than a million fans to The O2 arena over the past four years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets to the tournament, which takes place from 4-11 November, can be purchased at: www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.


Serbia Holds Off Bryans in Five-Set Thriller



By Junior Williams


Takes 2-1 lead after Zimonjic, Bozoljac win in five-set marathon.


(April 6, 2013) BOISE, Idaho – Serbia Davis Cup captain Bogdan Obradovic is probably saying, “I told you so.”


He stuck with No. 335th ranked Ilija Bozoljac instead of replacing him with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.


The payoff: Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic defeated top-ranked Americans Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 5-7, 4-6, 15-13 in a thrilling 4 hour 21- minute doubles match in the Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinals at Taco Bell Arena, giving Serbia a 2-1 lead heading into Sunday’s rubbers and an opportunity for Djokovic to clinch the tie in his singles match.


Bozoljac’s powerful serves — many of them rockets at around 135 miles per hour — helped to neutralize the Bryans. Together, Bozoljac and Zimonjic served up 36 aces to the Americans’ twelve.


The 27-year old Bozoljac also came through with a number of backhand winners down the line. his play, combined with the experience of former world number one doubles player Zimonjic, came in handy for the Serbs.


Both teams broke each other midway through the first set, but it was Serbia that struck first by winning the tiebreak on a Zimonjic second serve ace, followed by a winner that clipped the baseline.


The second tiebreak also went to Serbia, helped by a minibreak due to a net cord and a strong service game resulting in three aces.


But the world’s No. 1 doubles team refused to give up. The Americans began their comeback by breaking Bozoljac’s serve in the final game of the third set, as Zimonjic’s block of a Mike Bryan shot sailed beyond the baseline.


The Bryans repeated the feat in the fourth set, as Zimonjic — who was serving this game — knocked a return from the Americans in to the net, knotting up the match at two sets apiece.


In the fifth set, each team managed to hold serve while escaping danger at times, until the 27th game of the set, when Bozoljac’s backhad stab return was sent wide by the Americans to give Serbia a break and a chance to serve out the match.


But there was more drama, as Zimonjic double faulted to give the Bryans two break points and a chance to tie the set at 14-14. That’s when Zimonjic blasted two aces to tie the game at deuce.


After the Bryans staved off one match point on a lob the Serbs couldn’t convert, Zimonjic served out the next two points, ending with an ace to seal the victory for Serbia. The winners hugged each other on the court as their supporters cheered wildly. Despite their disappointment, those rooting for the home team applauded the quality play of both the Serbians and the Americans.


Just how close was the match? Each team scored 217 points.


“For sure, it’s the biggest win in the Davis Cup doubles for me,” said Zimonjic. “We were playing very good.


“This was definitely a great, great performance and great match from me.”


“Anybody who was supposed to play with Nenad was supposed to be the underdog against the Bryans,” Bozoljac said. “We won and I just can’t believe it happened.

“For me, it definitely means a lot because this is my best performance in Davis Cup so far. I knew if I give my 100 percent for one match I could play on a really high level.”


“Have to tip our hats to those guys, obviously,” said a disappointed Bob Bryan.  “Thought they played really well all day.  36 aces, didn’t give us much opportunity, in the fifth especially.
“Just one of those things.  Obviously disappointed we let the team down.”


He’s a guy we haven’t seen too much of on the tour,” Mike Bryan said about journeyman Bozoljac.  “Asked a few questions of guys that have seen him play.  Gave us a few things.  But he served great all day.  He actually was a stronger returner.  There at the end he didn’t show any nerves, came up with the goods, especially on some of those 30‑All points.”


US Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier was asked about if Bozoljac’s is a testament to the spirit of Davis Cup “I think inspiration is pretty easy to come by when you’re playing for the colors on your back, US.  We’ve seen a lot of people in this competition rise up.  You look at the numbers next to the guy’s career, you see the performance today, something doesn’t add up.  You clearly see there was some inspiration, chemistry with Nenad on the court, and you say, Too good.”


It was the second consecutive Davis Cup defeat for the Bryans, who back in February lost in the World Group First Round to Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares. The winningest doubles team in U.S. Davis Cup history is now 20-4 when playing together.


Now the U.S. faces a tall task in tomorrow’s reverse singles, with Djokovic set to take on Sam Querrey in the first match. If Querrey pulls off the upset, it’ll be left to American John Isner and Serb Viktor Troicki to settle the tie.


Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Boise, Idaho covering the Davis Cup quarterfinal World Group tie between the United States and Serbia for Tennis Panorama News.


Davis Cup: US, Serbia Deadlocked at 1-1; Djokovic, Querrey Victorious in World Group Quarterfinals


Djokovic, Querrey victorious in World Group Quarterfinals

By Junior Williams

Sam Querrey

Sam Querrey

(April 5, 2013) BOISE, Idaho – Sam Querrey rebounded from a two sets to one deficit to defeat Viktor Troicki 7-6 (1), 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, drawing the United States even with Serbia at one match apiece in the Davis Cup World Group Quarterfinals at a loud Taco Bell Arena on the Boise State University campus.

In the first match, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic dispatched American John Isner in straight sets 7-6 (5), 6-2, 7-5.


Isner got off to a fast start by breaking Djokovic early in the first set, but the Greensboro, North Carolina native failed to hold on to his advantage and went on to lose the first-set tiebreak, courtesy of a Djokovic change-of-pace serve that handcuffed the number 23-ranked player in the world.


From then on it was all Djokovic. He did his best impersonation of a backboard, neutralizing Isner’s powerful serves with solid returns and defense. The Serb wrapped up the match in two hours.


On court in a post-match interview, Djokovic was asked about how he executed his game plan against Isner.


His response: “I executed perfectly.”

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic


Djokovic elaborated further in the news conference. “I guess one of the tactics — crucial points — was to get as many balls back on the return games and try to use my serve very efficiently and not give him any opportunities to atack my second serve. So I had a very high percentage of first serves in. That helped my confidence, and I could play with less pressure in his service games.”


Isner agreed with Djokovic that the Australian Open champion’s ability to break back in the first set was the turning point the match.


“I let him back in it,” said the American. “Granted, he played a good game, but I didn’t make many first serves that game. Doing that against this guy is not a good recipe.

“You want to make first serves, and I didn’t do in that one game in the first set. That was critical because I think he became a lot more comfortable at that point.”


Isner had seventeen aces in the match, but his first serve percentage was 54%, compared with 77% for Djokovic.


The Serb’s win set up another Davis Cup pressure cooker for Querrey, the top-ranked American and world No. 20. In the World Group First Round back in February, the Californian ousted Brazil’s Thiago Alves in a fifth and deciding rubber to send the U.S. into the quarterfinals.


Querrey and Troicki battled for 3 hours and 20 minutes in a match marked by long rallies, powerful serves and lots of unforced errors: Querrey had 82, Troicki 62.  Querrey was going for his shots, while Troicki – like Djokovic – appeared to be returning everything in sight.


The crowd erupted in the fifth set, when Querrey broke the world’s 44th-ranked player to go up 5-4, on a Troicki shot that hit the net cord but stayed on the Serbian’s side of the court. The American went on to hold serve in the next and final game.


Querrey said finding his groove in the fourth set was key: “I stayed positive and kept with the game plan and played aggressive. That fourth set served extremely well and was fortunate to get two breaks and that gave me a lot of momentum going into the fifth set.”


Troicki said he began to tire in the fourth set:


“I get a bit tired mentally and also physically my legs were not 100 percent and got a little bit slower. I could say fourth set I just like wasn’t there.”


But Troicki added both he and Querrey played well in the fifth set, and that it just came down to who seized the opportunities.


“I had some chances early in the fifth,” said Troicki. “I had some chances early in the fifth.  I had some break points; didn’t use them.  He used his chances when he had a break point in a crucial moment for me. So I could say I was unlucky to lose this serve and also, yeah, to lose the match.  But that’s tennis.”


Next up: A crucial Saturday doubles match with Americans Bob and Mike Bryan — the number one team in the world – scheduled to play Serbian doubles specialist Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac. But Novak Djokovic says he’s “still in the option” for doubles.


Whether Djokovic plays or not, U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier says Saturday’s match is “not a must‑win.  We won’t be eliminated, nor will Serbia no matter what happens tomorrow.”

“We certainly want to win.  There is no doubt about that.  It’s an important match for both squads.  We’ll have two singles players ready to fire on Sunday.”


Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the US home ties. He is in Boise, Idaho covering the Davis Cup quarterfinal World Group tie between the United States and Serbia for Tennis Panorama News.