2014/08/21

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.)

 

Singles
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

 

 

Doubles
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

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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.”

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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.

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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.

ATP WORLD TOUR YEAR-END NO. 1 DOUBLES TEAM

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
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Serbia Holds Off Bryans in Five-Set Thriller

 

 

By Junior Williams

DAVIS CUP: SERBIA HOLDS OFF BRYANS IN THRILLER

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.

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

DAVIS CUP: U.S., SERBIA DEADLOCKED AT 1-1

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.

crowd

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.

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Bryan Brothers Capture Fourth US Open Title, 12th Major

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY -  Avenging their loss in the Australian Open finals, No. 2 seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan took out No. 5 seeds and Australian Open champions Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 to win the US Open doubles final on Friday.

The victory gives the Bryans the most majors in the Open Era for a Men’s Doubles team at 12. They have surpassed Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde and are now tied John Newcombe and Tony Roche for the all-time record.

“When you’re in the heat of the moment you don’t want to think about that stuff. We’re just trying to win the Grand Slam,, said Mike Bryan. “And now that we could chill a little bit, it’s fun to have it. We looked up to the Woodies, and to steal all their records is unbelievable, because we idolize those guys. They’re one of the reasons we play doubles. Just to be mentioned with those guys is pretty special. But to have a huge record like the Grand Slam record is really cool.”

Bob Bryan said: “We weren’t thinking too much about revenge today. We were just thinking about playing a good match and executing the scouting report our coach gave us and winning our home slam in front of all these fans that were pumping us up the whole day.”

The win also equals Robert Lutz and Stan Smith’s Open Era record with four US Open team titles. The Bryans also took home US Open trophies in 2005, 2008 and 2010.

 

An interview with: BOB AND MIKE BRYAN

Friday, September 7, 2012

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

 

Q.  3‑2 on them this year; loss in Australian Open was disappointing.  Does this make up for it?

BOB BRYAN:  I mean, we weren’t thinking too much about revenge today.  We were just thinking about playing a good match and executing the scouting report our coach gave us and winning our home slam in front of all these fans that were pumping us up the whole day.  I mean, we’re extremely pumped to leave 2012 with a Grand Slam title.  I think it’s eight years in a row now we’ve at least got away with one of them, which we’re very proud of.

 

Q.  Olympic gold medal, Grand Slam, Davis Cup…

BOB BRYAN:  Dream summer?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah.  Got to finish it off strong with Davis Cup.  You’re only as good as your last match.  So we’re leaving tomorrow night, going to get our clay court shoes on, and hopefully help the U.S. out.

BOB BRYAN:  After that match we can exhale a little bit.

 

Q.  How much attention do you give to the records and how important is it to you to hold almost every record now?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, I mean when we’re done playing I think they’re going to be fun to have.  When you’re in the heat of the moment you don’t want to think about that stuff.  We’re just trying to win the Grand Slam, you know.  And now that we could chill a little bit, it’s fun to have it.  You know, we looked up to the Woodies, and to steal all their records is unbelievable, because we idolize those guys.  They’re one of the reasons we play doubles.  Just to be mentioned with those guys is pretty special.  But to have a huge record like the Grand Slam record is really cool.

 

Q.  After the match did you throw your gold medal into the crowd?

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah.  That was my buddy from Miami.  He has good hands.

MIKE BRYAN:  Was that Sean?

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah.  If he wasn’t an athlete, I wouldn’t have thrown it to him, but he’s a coordinated guy.

 

Q.  He’s going to give it back, though?

BOB BRYAN:  Do you want to catch it?

 

Q.  What’s a realistic number for you considering your age, how you feel, how much longer you say you’re going to play?  What’s a realistic number of slams you think you can actually achieve?

MIKE BRYAN:  I don’t know.  It’s hard to say, but we want to play until Rio.  Hopefully we can snag a couple a year, one or two.  We got one this year.  You do the math.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  I know you had the medal with you in Cincy; you have it here.  Do you take it with you everywhere?

BOB BRYAN:  Pretty much.

 

Q.  A good luck charm?

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, I actually let Sergio Garcia wear it in Cincinnati.  Then he went win, third, and he made 1.5 million in two weeks.  So I think it’s good luck.  You want to catch it?  Can you move forward a couple of rows.

 

Q.  I assume it’s not particularly fragile.

BOB BRYAN:  It’s heavy.

MIKE BRYAN:  You got good hands?

 

Q.  He’s a Brit.

BOB BRYAN:  He’s a Brit?

MIKE BRYAN:  Pass it around.  You can get a picture.

BOB BRYAN:  It’s going to be going home tomorrow, the gold.

 

Q.  How do you retain your freshness?  You never seem to change as the years go by.  I think if I took a picture of you guys five years ago, six years ago, and you probably look exactly the same as you do now.  How do you retain that freshness?

MIKE BRYAN:  Ask Doug right here.  He’s got the fresh face.  He’s like 50 and he looks 30.  (Laughter.)  We put on sunscreen.

BOB BRYAN:  We’re playing a sport that we have a lot of fun, you know, doing.  Our parents instilled that love in the game early, and we still haven’t lost it.  I think that’s the biggest goal for parents, should have, is making it fun for their kids.  Not just drilling them into the ground, but making it fun.  We were playing games, going to tournaments with our friends, having pizza, and just fell in love with the game.  Had idols, and, you know, right now we still like getting up and going to war and having moments like this.  This is what you play for, right here, working hard.  You know, we had a rough 12 months.  We took a lot of lumps, but now that’s all forgotten.  It’s sweeter than ever.

 

Q.  Talk about the Olympics being such a big goal this year.  How strange would it have been to end the year without a Grand Slam in 2012?

MIKE BRYAN:  Still would have been a good year because we have the Olympics.  But as Bob said, we wanted to keep the streak alive of eight years with a slam.  It would obviously have been disappointing, but, you know, we’re always trying to finish the year No. 1.  We have a pretty good lead now.  You just take a look at the positives, you know, the Olympics and trying to finish the year No. 1.

 

Q.  What are your observations of the other great siblings in sports, the Williams sisters, the Mannings, and what common denominators other than genes do you see in those alliances?

BOB BRYAN:  The common denominator is you’re able to hit with the No. 1 player in the world every day of the year.  You don’t have to go search for a practice partner.  I think parents have the formula, and they figure out an environment that breeds success.  Why wouldn’t the other sibling be successful in that same environment?  We had an environment in Camarillo, California, a beautiful club with a hundred juniors playing tennis and coming to play four hours a day.  We had parents that didn’t come down on hard for us for wins and losses, but just kind of instilled good sportsmanship and making sure we were having fun.  They were taking us to exhibitions, Indian Wells, Great Western Forum, to make sure we saw that level and we had dreams.

 

Q.  We have seen some huge chases for Grand Slam records with Sampras and Federer.  What is it like for you guys?

MIKE BRYAN:  You know, it doesn’t get the notoriety that, you know, a Federer record does.  We have fun slipping under the radar.  Probably get asked once or twice a week ‑ by Doug ‑ but that’s about it.  This isn’t our first time sitting in this room in front of a bunch of media.  But they’re special to us and we talk about them with our camp.  My dad definitely he shoots e‑mails to us with all our records and they’re fun to look at.  Then it’s up to you guys to, you know, determine where we stand in history or whatever.  You know, that’s what we play for.  We set goals every year.  This was just another goal that we went after.  It’s fun to achieve it.

 

Q.  Do you recall your first major?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah.

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, we definitely recall it.  The first major we played?

 

Q.  First major you won.

BOB BRYAN:  2003 French Open, and that was sweet.  We went to Buddha Bar and partied.

 

Q.  What did you do to work your way up to that?

BOB BRYAN:  I mean, that one just kind of came, bang.  We hadn’t been in a Grand Slam final.  Been in a couple of semis.  We just played the tournament of our life; didn’t lose a set.  One set went past four the whole week.  It just happened so fast.  And then it took us a while.  Once we won the first one it took us two over two years to win the next one.  We lost in five Grand Slam finals after that match and took a lot of lumps.  Then, yeah, then started figuring it out.

 

Q.  Who among the great sibling duos in sports in recent years have been especially inspiring to you, and what have you taken from their examples?

BOB BRYAN:  I mean, Venus and Serena are a pretty inspirational sibling pair.  They’re always positive with each other.  They love each other to death.  They’re always supporting each other watching the matches and the crowd.  You’ve never seen them have a spat.  You know, we’re a little more violent with each other behind closed doors than those two, so we try to use them as an example.  (Laughter.)

 

Q.  You guys said before the tournament or coming in that this was gravy after the Olympics.  Were you able to play that way?  Did you feel from the beginning to the end that that helped, you know, lubricate your nerves?

MIKE BRYAN:  It did take pressure off.  Yeah, we talked about it before each match.  We’re like, Let’s swing free.  We have the gold.  But, you know, we came into this probably a little fatigued and just running on adrenaline from the Olympics.  We could see the finish line.  You know, this final match, that’s what we pushed toward, and, you know, we have played a lot of tennis from the Olympics.  Yeah, that definitely lubricated the nerves.  Nice word.

 

Q.  You have broken all the records and got the Olympic medal now.  What kind of goals do you have now?  Is there something missing, or just adding to the pot?

BOB BRYAN:  Short‑term goal is still win that Davis Cup match, because that’s going to be pivotal to that tie.  I don’t think our team has a great chance if we don’t win that doubles match.  We want to do our job there and then just try to pile on some more points and finish the year No. 1.  It would be our eighth No. 1 finish.  Then Mike’s going to get married.  See how that goes.

MIKE BRYAN:  Work on your speech.

 

Q.  Sounded like a question.

BOB BRYAN:  Start it again.

MIKE BRYAN:  It’s gonna happen.

BOB BRYAN:  Start it again.

 

Q.  You have given so much to the game, not only in doubles but the sport itself.  The passion that you have, the energy, your father’s made you tough; you’re a tough competitor.  Is there ever a time behind the scenes in private the two of you actually just have to break down and share a tear of emotion for what you all have accomplished?

MIKE BRYAN:  We’re not very sentimental emotional guys.  I haven’t cried for a while, since high school.  But I thought I was gonna cry on the medals stand.

BOB BRYAN:  It didn’t happen.

MIKE BRYAN:  It didn’t happen.  I’m just unemotional.  Ask my fiancée.

 

Q.  Do you take a pill for that or something?

BOB BRYAN:  Zero emotions.

MIKE BRYAN:  It will be fun to, you know, just share these memories.

BOB BRYAN:  We talk about stuff together.  We don’t really talk about it with other people.  We share it with my parents.  My dad gets a real kick out of the records.  He has a spreadsheet on his computer.  I’m sure he’s updating it right now.

MIKE BRYAN:  Here comes the star.

BOB BRYAN:  Bring her up here.

 

Q.  Your dad’s been a little bit controversial this year with some of the things he said earlier on in the year.  The USTA of course, Patrick has worked very closely with you in Davis Cup terms on the other side.  Are you sometimes trapped between the association and your father?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, we stay out of it.  I mean, we have a big loyalty to both guys.  We love Pat and we love obviously my dad.  My dad is very passionate about the way he feels because he owned a club and did a tremendous job with his junior program for so many years.  But, you know, Pat has his views.  I’m sure they’re both great.  We definitely read the blogs and the e‑mails and get a kick out of it.

(Micaela joined the dais.)

MIKE BRYAN:  Watch this.  Peekaboo.

 

Q.  Can I just ask, I mean, this tournament seems to have turned into a tournament of players going under the pension line, Mark Knowles being the latest one.  Just comment on Mark’s career.  You guys came up against him so many times.

BOB BRYAN:  I mean, Mark’s a legend.  He’s one of the best players of all time.  I think Knowles‑Nestor have got to be in the top five greatest doubles teams to play.  Incredible backhand return in the deuce court and scary hands.  His drop volley would always catch you by surprise.  He’s a great guy.  I think he’ll have a successful career coaching.  He’s knowledgeable and, you know, if he wants to be a commentator commentating or whatever…

 

Q.  Not too long ago you and your dad, Wayne, a few guys really fought hard to keep this doubles on the tour.  And not only kept it on the tour, but you brought it fairly close to the main light of activity.  What’s that mean to you all when you look beyond just playing the game, that you made this contribution to the game with your dad?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, I mean, we’re very happy with the way it’s gone.  Obviously doubles was threatened seven years ago, and we rallied behind ‑‑ along with my dad and all the doubles guys ‑‑ and pushed to have doubles be a big part of the game.  You know, playing matches like this in a packed stadium, you know, it just shows how far doubles has come.  There’s more and more stadium matches.  It still is an integral part of the game, which is great.  And we always want it to be.  When we’re done playing we still want doubles to be, you know, big.  It’s never going to catch singles, but it will be right there.

 

Q.  Do you feel more confident with Davis Cup after that match?

MIKE BRYAN:  Do we feel confident?

 

Q.  With Davis Cup after that match.

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, obviously when you win a string of matches your confidence grows.  It’s going to be a different surface, and we’re going to have to go to work to beat two very good clay‑court doubles players.  We’re leaving tomorrow night.  We’re going to get there a week early and we will have some good time to get ready.  But, yeah, we’re pretty happy with the way we’re playing right now.

 

Q.  What happens in your life if one of you is born in Camarillo and at the same time another is born in Ventura and you’re actually not twins?  Would you still have careers in tennis, do you think?

BOB BRYAN:  Who’s our parents?  Wayne and Kathy Bryan in Camarillo, or are they in Miami?  If you’re my dad I’m probably sweeping streets somewhere.  Just kidding, Bill.  (Laughter.)

MIKE BRYAN:  We would have found each other.

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Davis Cup: Looking Back at US vs France in 2008 in Winston-Salem

Tennis Panorama News will be covering the Davis Cup quarterfinal tie this weekend between the United States and France being held at the Monte Carlo Country Club. We’re taking a look back at  past ties between the two countries.

By Guillaume Willecoq

2008 Davis Cup quarterfinals in Winston-Salem (April, 11-13) : USA d. France 4/1.

 

It’s the 15th match between USA and France in the Davis Cup history. The last tie between the two teams was in 2002, when France beat the USA on the clay of Roland-Garros. This time, the match takes place in the United States, at Winston-Salem. It’s the third time the US team makes the choice to play at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, after India in 2001 (4/1) and Spain in 2007 (4/1).

 

The players:

USA: For the 10th consecutive tie, the team is made up of Andy Roddick (6th) and James Blake (8th) in singles, and Bob and Mike Bryan, world N°1 in doubles. Mardy Fish (42th) acts as the sparring. With this competitive group, the USA won the Davis Cup a few months before, beating Russia in final (4/1). Against France, Patrick McEnroe and his boys received on a very fast indoor at Winston-Salem.

 

France: Richard Gasquet (10th) is the team France leader. But the new star in this group is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (13th), who recently reached the Australian Open final. They both should play in singles, whereas Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clément, current champions of Wimbledon, will face the Bryan brothers. But nothing goes as predicted: first, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is walk-over due to a knee injury and the captain picks Paul-Henri Mathieu and Michaël Llodra for the first rubbers. Then, Richard Gasquet doesn’t feel like playing Andy Roddick and refuses to go on the court on the Sunday. Drained by his match against Blake, Paul-Henri Mathieu loses in straight sets the decisive rubber.

 

The tie :

Roddick d. Llodra 6/4 7/6 7/6

Blake d. Mathieu 7/6 6/7 6/3 3/6 7/5

Clément / Llodra d. Bryan / Bryan 6/7 7/5 6/3 6/4

Roddick d. Mathieu 6/2 6/3 6/2

Blake d. Gasquet 6/7 6/4 6/4

 

The quotes :

Andy Roddick: “It’s nice to get rewarded for all the rough losses that we had, and I’ve been a part of a lot of big losses for us in Davis Cup. You’ve got to try to keep an even keel when things are going your way, but obviously it’s been fun having won the last six….”

 

Paul-Henri Mathieu: “I think I deserved to win the match against James. In the end, it could have gone either way. I played the right way till the end, but James came up with big shots to take the match, credit to him… And against Andy, I probably faced the best player in the world on the surface… I’m tired and disappointed because I gave it all during this week-end. I tried my best. As far as I am concerned, I can look at myself in the mirror. And be proud.”

 

James Blake: “Against Paul-Henri, I never want to feel like I’m out of it. He had been serving really well, but funny things can happen when you’re serving for a match, especially in Davis Cup. And so I did my best to put the pressure back on him and make sure he knew he wasn’t going to get a free game out of it.”

 

Michaël Llodra: “We knew we had to make a great match against Bob and Mike. It’s maybe the reason why we had a great record against them. Today, another time, we could raise our level. Arnaud and me are close friends inside and outside the court, it helps us a lot. We had a lot of fun. It’s for those kind of matches, in front of 15 000 people, that we play. And with your best buddy, it’s fabulous.”

 

Guy Forget: “I’m not there to analyse Richard’s problems. I spoke with him. Richard is going through a difficult time. He had some nagging injuries and didn’t win a lot of matches. I support the players, and what we said to each other stays between us. Richard is different, you have to deal with it. This week-end his mind was on other things.”

 

After that :

Concerning the French team, for the first time it’s obvious that Guy Forget is struggling with his young players. Since then, Richard Gasquet has been a second choice in the French team, behind Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gaël Monfils, only playing twice in singles. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, missing the group in Winston-Salem, is a big factor on the winning chances for the team : step by step, he has become the boss. Since he plays in Davis Cup, his single loss came to Rafael Nadal on clay, in 2011! He wasn’t there against Serbia for the 2010 final, and left the team with fewer options to win the title.

 

For the US team, the defense of the title lasted until the semifinals, when Spain stopped them on clay, in Madrid. Since then, the USA has travelled for far away ties, all of them on clay. This week at Monaco, it will be their 6th tie on clay in the last 8… They learned how to beat the Swiss on clay, against all odds, can they repeat the feature against France ?

 

Tennis Panorama News is covering the Davis Cup between the United States and France this week taking place at the Monte Carlo Country Club from April 6-8.  Look out for updates here and on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.

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Djokovic, Fish, Verdasco Take Part in K-Swiss Desert Smash to Help Raise Money for Children’s Charity

 

 

LAQUINTA, CA – (March 6, 2012) -   Heading into the BNP Paribas Open this week top players including Novak Djokovic, Mardy Fish, Mike Bryan, Fernando Verdasco and Sam Querrey were out and about for the eighth annual K•Swiss Desert Smash  charity celebrity tennis event at the La Quinta Resort & Club.  The March 6th & 7th event benefits  Variety – The Children’s Charity, which is dedicated to promoting, and protecting the health and well-being of underprivileged and special needs children in the Coachella Valley.

For more information on the event www.k-swissdesertsmash.com and more about Variety – The Children’s Charity www.varietyofthedesert.org

All photos by Beth Wilson editor of Nadal News and  tennis photographer.

 

[nggallery id=47]

 

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U.S. Completes Davis Cup Sweep of Switzerland

DAVIS CUP: U.S. SWEEPS SWITZERLAND
Harrison, Isner Victories Complete 5-0 Shutout

By Junior Williams

FRIBOURG, Switzerland — The United States has swept a Davis Cup tie for the first time in eight years, beating Switzerland 5-0 in the first round
of the World Group.

Ryan Harrison won his first-ever Davis Cup match by defeating Michael Lammer 7-6(0), 7-6(4), as both players entertained the Forum Fribourg crowd for 2 hours and 14 minutes. John Isner wrapped up the shutout with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Marco Chiudinelli that took only 58 minutes to complete.

Harrison — ranked 95th in the world — posted a bagel in the first set tiebreak. The American put away a Lammer shot at net for a 2-0 mini-break, and finished the set with a forehand winner up the line.

The second set was chock full of long rallies: Harrison hitting powerful shots while the 251st-ranked Lammer did a great impersonation of a backboard, with stellar defensive play. The Swiss was also very successful coming to net and executing winners.

Neither player would give in during the first game of the second set tiebreak. A long rally culminated with another Harrison forehand winner to secure a mini-break. His streak of twelve straight tiebreak points ended with Harrison serving a double fault up 5-0. That sparked the crowd and Lammer, who rallied to narrow the score to 5-4. But the 19-year old American ramped up his service game to win the next two points and the match.

Just how close was the match? Harrison won 94 points, three more than Lammer.

Marco Chuidinelli was Switzerland’s last hope for averting a whitewash at home. But he had a tall order (literally and figuratively) in facing 6-foot 9-inch John Isner, who was coming off his stunning upset of Roger Federer.

The second dead rubber of the day involved lots of short points, mostly due to Isner’s booming serves. It took the American only 28 minutes to win the first set.

The 17th-ranked Isner broke Chiudinelli early in the second set, putting USA up 2-1 with a forehand winner up the line. Isner served out the match in grand style, holding at love with four consecutive aces.

The last U.S. sweep of a Davis Cup tie was in February 2004 when the Americans hosted Austria at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. Back then the U.S. squad consisted of Andy Roddick, Robby Ginepri and the Bryan twins.

The Americans and Captain Jim Courier now await the winner of the Canada-France tie, which will host the quarterfinals in April.

As for the Swiss, they must wait to find out who they will draw for the World Group play-off in September. The loser will be relegated to the second tier.

===========================

DROP SHOTS:

Even though the Americans had clinched the tie on Saturday, kudos to the Swiss fans for what was still a relatively healthy turnout for Sunday’s dead rubbers. Same goes for Roger Federer, who showed up to support his teammates despite suffering two defeats. However, no sign of Stanislas Wawrinka.

You have to go back to 1996 for the last time Switzerland was swept in a Davis Cup tie. The loss was to Germany in Geneva, and just like this weekend, the tie was played on clay.

My favorite delicacy at the Forum Fribourg was the bratwurst. Yes, it cost 7 swiss francs ($7.64 U.S) but well worth it.

Hopefully, next time they host a tie in Fribourg, the folks in charge will open more doors to allow ticket-holders access to their seats. The “sardine effect” is not helpful. But overall, they put on a good show.

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 Fribourg, Switzerland covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the US and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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