John Isner won his fourth BB&T Atlanta Open title on Sunday, thrilling the home fans and overcoming issues with his knee and hand to win a pair of tiebreaks 7-6 7-6. The difference in the match was just four points in total, and the match took nearly two hours on Sunday afternoon. Isner, who suffered from knee soreness starting in the first set, served up 23 aces, and won well over 80% of his first serve points. The first set featured no break points. The first set tiebreak had plenty of minibreaks though, with Harrison failing to take a set point at 6-5, and eventually getting broken to lose the first set 8-6 in the breaker.
The underdog American kept his focus from a set down, he broke Isner early in the second set, but was broken right back and despite Isner damaging his hand on his racquet strings, a second set tiebreak would ensue. Harrison won the first minibreak to go up 2-0, but it was all Isner from there, he took the match on his second match point, 9-7. Isner has now won two tournaments in two weeks, and eight matches in a row, as he took the title in Newport the week prior to Atlanta. There is no place Isner feels more comfortable than the BB&T Atlanta Open, and Harrison couldn’t disrupt that.
Bob and Mike Bryan won the doubles title 6-3 6-4 over Koolhof/Sitak, it took them less than hour to win their second ATP doubles of the season. The Bryans also have two titles total in Atlanta, this time it took them less than an hour.
‘Big Bang Theory’ Star Kaley Cuoco To Join Bryan Bros. V-Grid Tennis Fest Once Again
Camarillo, Calif., – Kaley Cuoco, the award-winning actress and childhood friend of the Bryan Brothers, has committed to being part of the popular V-Grid Bryan Bros. Tennis Fest set for Sunday, Sept. 25, at the Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo.
Cuoco, star of the of “The Big Bang Theory”, will join the all-time winningest doubles team Mike and Bob Bryan and provide her humorous commentary alongside the twins’ father and event emcee Wayne Bryan. Season 10 of the “The Big Bang Theory” will premiere on CBS in two weeks.
“We are excited and elated to once again welcome Kaley back on the courts with us,” Bob Bryan said. “We’ve known Kaley since we were kids, and we’ve remained close friends with her and her entire family.”
Added Mike Bryan: “We’re so grateful Kaley will be able join us on Sept. 25. She made our event last year, and the crowd loved having her commentate on our doubles match.”
Bryans (Photo: Bryan Bros. Foundation)
The Bryan Bros., who are nearing 1,000 professional career wins and are considered the greatest all-time doubles team, will take on top American singles players Steve Johnson and John Isner on the jam-packed day to raise funds for the Bryan Bros. Foundation. Johnson, who lost to Roger Federer in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon, is from the City of Orange and earlier this summer won his first ATP pro title. Johnson and Isner are currently the No. 1 and 2 ranked American players in singles. Johnson is currently ranked No. 23 in the ATP World Tour rankings, and Isner is No. 25.
Tennis fans can purchase courtside seats for $100 (children under 17 $40) on the event website at www.BryanBrosTennisFest.com. here:http://www.bbtennisfest.com/general-admission/. There are still a few spot remaining in the Pro-Am where players can pair up with Bob, Mike, Isner, Johnson or former ATP star Mardy Fish. The event will once again feature wine and food tasting, a live auction, pro-am, and performance by the Bryan Bros. Band.
The schedule includes:
1:00pm-4:00pm: Pro-Am Tournament & Food and Wine Tastings
4:00pm-5:30pm: Pro Exhibition Matches
5:30pm-6:30pm: Bryan Bros Band Concert
Over the years, the event has raised more than $750,000 to benefit both the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association, as well as the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons and other local children’s charities.
The V-Grid Tennis Fest is being run by Spanish Hills Director of Tennis Dave McKinney.
Sponsors include: Sponsors include: V-Grid Energy Systems, Alexander Cadillac, K-Swiss, Spanish Hills Country Club, Channel Islands Wealth Management, Fenessco, Progressive Equine, Channel Islands Wealth Management, St. Mary Magdalen School, Michael Phillip-Raymond James, Blois Construction and the SCTA.
Represent: American @RajeevRam Named to Olympic Squad
Rajeev Ram to Represent
Rajeev Ram, 32, of Carmel, Ind., will become a first-time Olympian by joining the 2016 U.S. Olympic Tennis Team in Rio in men’s doubles. Ram, who holds nine career ATP doubles titles, will team up with first-time Olympian Brian Baker, who is also competing in singles. Ram was added to the team as a result of a withdrawal by the reigning Olympic Men’s Doubles Gold Medalist team of Bob and Mike Bryan for ‘personal reasons’.
John Isner defeated a hobbled Marcos Baghdatis in routine fashion 6-3 6-3 to capture his third straight BB&T Atlanta Open title. The ATP 250 trophy is his first of 2015 and the 10th total ATP title of his career, all of those trophies coming in 250 events.
Baghdatis showed signs of a leg injury early, as he was shaking his leg and trying to get it flexed, he fought hard and came out with the will to fight, but he was under pressure on serve in his first service game, holding to deuce for 1-1. Isner pumped out a routine hold, and then broke at 15 for a 3-1 lead. From there he wouldn’t look back as he raced through service holds and took the opening frame 6-3 in less than a half hour.
During the set change Baghdatis took an off court medical timeout, but his leg never sorted itself out and the trainer couldn’t really do much for him. Credit to him for walking out for the second set and still playing his best, but it was clear Isner had the match under his thumb. The American didn’t face a break point all match, while Baghdatis had to fight out a hold for 2-1, got broken at 30 to go 3-2 down, and then was broken again in the final game of the match for a 6-3 6-3 defeat.
There was question whether Baghdatis would retire midway through the second but he continued to play on, unable to move well and slicing most of his returns back. Isner thumped aces and forehand winners, and was clearly pleased to have a routine final as he successfully defended his ranking points. Isner won 27/28 first serve points, and was 9/11 on second serve points while Baghdatis was broken three times in his injury scarred loss. All in all it was an excellent bounce back tournament for Big John as he began the Emirates Airlines US Open Series with a title, erasing the memory of his bad round 1 defeat in Newport. His serve was on point all week and he still has a chance to get back into the top 15 by the end of the season.
As for Baghdatis, he played excellent this week and cemented himself as back in the top 50, it was his first final in years, and when fit and focused, he’s one of the best aggressive ball strikers in the game. Hopefully his injury was only a short term problem and nothing serious, given he’s been bothered by injuries throughout his career. Marcos is likely in doubt for DC, but he could be a dark horse throughout the rest of the US Open Series. He was great with fans, and really showed passion this week.
The doubles final between the Bryan Brothers and Fleming/Muller was more competitive, and in fact lasted as long as the singles final did, but the world #1 team rose to the occasion and captured their first Atlanta trophy in the clutch. Fleming/Muller went 5-2 up and took the first set 6-4, but the second set was all on serve, and the Bryans took the tiebreak 7-2. The final third set super tiebreak was also dominated by the brothers as Fleming/Muller strugled to hold serve and the Bryans won 4-6 7-6(2) 10-4. The final two tiebreaks won by the American legends by a combined score of 17-6. The Bryans have now won four titles on the season, three of which have come on American soil.
Our appreciation once again to the BB&T Atlanta Open and their entire team for a fantastic tournament at Atlantic Station, and for providing us with media credential access. The 250 stop in Atlanta is one of the best tournaments in North America, and one of the best ATP tournaments of that level in a variety of ways, Tennis Atlantic looks forward to covering the tournament next year as well! The BB&T Atlanta Open lived up to their motto of “World Class Field, World Class Fun” in 2015.
The 2015 doubles field for the BB&T Atlanta Open is truly world class, as some of the best doubles teams in the world have entered this ATP 250 event. Atlanta tennis fans and recreational players love doubles, and clearly this high quality field is their reward for appreciating a lesser-recognized part of the pro game.
Bob and Mike Bryan headline top half
That starts of course with the Bryan Brothers, the greatest doubles team of all time and the #1 seeds. They haven’t had as strong of a season this year as previous ones but they still have three ATP titles (including the Miami and Monte Carlo Masters), and reached the Roland Garros final. The brotherly pair is now well past 30, but they continue to compete at the highest level and set records. In round 1 they will face the Aussie pairing of Sam Groth and Chris Guccione.
The lanky Gooch, and the big serving Groth are both likeable guys and Groth’s massive serve aids his double game. Groth recently helped Australia win their Davis Cup tie with a doubles win while Gooch has one ATP doubles title this year.
The winner of the Bryans vs. the Aussies will take on either Treat Huey/Steve Johnson or Fabrice Martin/Purav Raja. Huey is a doubles specialist and former University of Virgina product, while Martin/Raja are a full time professional doubles pairing, Johnson of course a singles player looking to get som practice in. From this section it’s likely the Bryans will win both their matches to reach the semifinals.
The #4 seed is the pairing of Mate Pavic/Michael Venus. Venus is a former LSU product from New Zealand who has gravitated towards being a doubles specialist while the tall Pavic, just 22, has been in great form as of late on the doubles circuit. They come off of the final in Bogota as a pairing, and Pavic reached the Newport final prior to that, Venus/Pavic also won the title in Nice on clay back in the spring. Pavic/Venus will face local favorites Donald Young/Christopher Eubanks in the opening round, Eubanks from Georgia Tech, and Young of course an Atlanta native.
The winner of Pavic/Venus vs. Eubanks/Young could face doubles specialists Marcus Daniell (another New Zealander)/Marcelo Demoliner or Americans Nick Monroe/Austin Krajicek. The veteran Monroe has reached two ATP doubles finals this year (Bucharest and Newport), and the American team should be slight favorites to advance on home soil, while Pavic/Venus are the favorites in the section. Krajicek has shown clear interested in excelling in both doubles and singles as the rising American is in the top 130 in singles, and the top 80 in doubles.
Pospisil/Sock in bottom half as #2 seeds, Fish/Roddick to say farewell
The fan favorite and talented pairing of Vasek Pospisil/Jack Sock, who were in the top 5 in the world in doubles as recently as April (4 titles together including Wimbledon and Atlanta in 2014 and Indian Wells in 2015) are back together again and playing in Atlanta as the #2 seeds. They tend to perform at their best on North American hard courts, as evidenced by their back to back finals in Indian Wells and Miami this year, and the title in Indian Wells, as Sock was returning from hip surgery, and both have been on the rise in singles as well (Pospisil making a run at Wimbledon and Sock generally having a solid season including his first ATP title).
“Popsock” will open with Gilles Muller/Colin Fleming in a tough round 1 match as they seek to defend their title. Muller is a big server who enjoys playing in Atlanta, while Fleming is a veteran Scottish doubles specialist though he’s struggled this year besides one ATP doubles final. It’s likely the young North Americans will get through though and setup a meeting with either Benjamin Becker/Lukas Lacko or Marcos Baghdatis/Malek Jaziri. Both are singles players who are playing doubles this time, and Baghdatis/Jaziri are a pair of talented veteran shotmakers. Regardless of who wins that, Pospisil/Sock should be favorites to at least reach the semis.
The #3 seeds are the veteran pairing of Artem Sitak/Eric Butorac, Sitak, the third Kiwi in the draw reached a career high this year in doubles at #39 in the world. He’s transitioned to a doubles specialist and appears to be succeeding at it, with an ATP title and two finals this year. Butorac is 34 and a long term doubles specialist, he’s struggled this season though and Matt Ebden/Adrian Mannarino will have their chances in the opening round. Ebden has had success in Atlanta in doubles before while Mannarino’s funky game is good for the discipline, they both focus on singles but it’s an open draw if they catch fire.
One of the two teams remaining to discuss are Jonathan Marray/Rendy Lu with the doubles specialist and former Wimbledon doubles champ Marray coming off of a title in Newport. Previously Lu and Marray took the title in Chennai at the start of the season. Last but certainly not least are the very popular farewell pairing of Andy Roddick/Mardy Fish.
Roddick came out of retirement only to play ATP doubles, as a special favor to his good friend Fish, and Fish is of course on his farewell tour during the Emirates Airlines US Open Series this summer, in both singles and doubles. Given their rust, it’s hard to tell how well they will play, but they will certainly have a good time and treat fans to some exciting matches for as long as they last.
All in all it promises to be an exciting doubles tournament in Atlanta, and the matches are absolutely worth checking out as we should be treated to some great semifinals and perhaps a star studded final in Atlanta.
Bryans Force Live Rubber Tennis on Sunday With a Win over Inglot/J. Murray in Davis Cup Doubles Joe Craven for Tennis Atlantic
Bob and Mike Bryan ensured that the USA lived to fight another day in their World Group tie against Great Britain, as they survived a valiant fightback from the British pairing of Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot to win 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-7 (8) 9-7. USA trail the tie 2-1 heading into the final day of the tie but will take some confidence from the way Bob and Mike held their nerve in what was a must win rubber.
Prior to this particular match Murray and Inglot had only played together as a pair over 12 years ago in junior events and their lack of experience as a team showed early on in the 1st set, with Murray especially struggling to get used to the conditions of playing with a different partner than he usually does. The Scot looked rather nervous on serve and in the 4th game of the set the Bryans were able to break the Murray serve to go 3-1 up after forcing the play and piling the pressure on the scratch pairing. Murray and Inglot did manage to break the Bryans right back in the following game, but with the Scot continuing to struggle on serve, the outcome of the set was rather inevitable. At 4-3 up in the set a poor second serve from Murray was hit for a winner by Bob Bryan to bring up a break point for the Americans and Murray dumped a nervous volley into the net to hand the Bryans the break and a 5-3 lead. The Americans had no issues in the following game and held with ease to take the 1st set 6-3.
With the hopes of the USA firmly resting on the shoulders of the Bryans, they continued to show their class in the 2nd set, whilst Great Britain’s Jamie Murray continued to show his nerves. In just the 3rd game of the set the Scot squandered a 40 love lead to give the Bryans a chance to break and after a long rally Mike Bryan hit a stunning cross court forehand pass to convert the break point and give his team a 2-1 lead in the 2nd set. The pairing of Murray and Inglot were really struggling to get into the match and despite some good service games from Inglot the pair could do nothing of note on return. It was perhaps rather unsurprising that at 4-2 down and with Murray serving the pair once again found themselves in trouble. The Bryans forced the play once more and punished Murray for yet more week serving to break for a 5-2 lead, by this point Murray had lost all 4 of his service games in the match. Mike Bryan had the task of serving the set out for the Bryans and he had no no problems in doing so as he held to love to give his team a 2 sets to 0 lead, much to the delight of USA captain Jim Courier.
Murray and Inglot were determined not to go down without a fight and as the crowd raised their level of noise at the start of the 3rd set, the pair began to raise their level of tennis. Murray was determined to make amends for his poor serving in the 1st two sets and in the 3rd game of the set the Scot comfortably hold his serve to 15 to give Britain a 2-1 lead in the set. The game that followed was an thrilling one with both teams producing some stunning Tennis which had the Glasgow crowd on their feet multiple times. Two break points came and went for the British team but after saving four game points points of the Bryans, they found themselves with another break point and at the 3rd time of asking the Brits converted to take a 3-1 lead in the 3rd set. Inglot had been holding serve with relative ease throughout the match and another convincing hold from the man nicknamed ‘Dom the Bomb’ quickly extended the Brits lead to 4-1 in the set. The rest of the set flew by rather quickly with none of the four players on court experiencing any struggle on their serve. Dom Inglot served the set out to 15 to take the 3rd set 6-3 for the Brits.
After starting the match extremely slowly, Murray and Inglot now seemed like a pair who’d been playing together as a team for years and their confidence just seemed to grow even more in the 4th set. The pair were able to save a break point against their serve early on in the set and they even had two opportunities to break a couple of games later, but the Bryans held firm and quashed both of the Brits chances rather comfortably. The Brits were forced to serve to stay in the match twice and despite experiencing some slight trouble on his serve at 6-5 down, Jamie Murray was able to hold and send the 4th set into a tiebreaker.
In that 4th set tiebreak, both teams held their nerve on serve until the 2-3 service point, as the Bryans went up a minibreak by winning a point off of Jamie Murray’s serve to go up 4-2, and put themselves three points away from clinching the rubber. However, team GB would fight back as the partisan crowd never lost hope , Inglot finished a volley at the net between the two Americans to prevent them from earning a match point, and then won the 4-5 point for 5-5 entirely by himself, with a strong serve and two quality volleys. The Bryans netted to go down 5-6 in the fourth set breaker. The Bryans did get it back to 6 all, but again Inglot was clutch, skying for an overhead volley to give GB a minibreak and a set point at 7-6. To the chagrin of the crowd, the British team again failed to convert, and team USA won the next point also for a match point at 8-7 on Bob Bryan’s serve. Bob Bryan slipped when faced with Inglot’s curving stab return and the match point was saved to push the tiebreak to an agonizing 8 all. After Inglot had done most of the damage for team GB in the tiebreak, it was Jamie Murray who forced the third set point at 9-8 as his forehand return just found the edge of the outside doubles line. Team GB finally forced a fifth with a volley winner by Murray sending the crowd into a frenzy.
In that deciding fifth set, the Americans got a half chance at 1-1, as they went up 0-30 on Murray’s serve but Murray and his teammate would claw back and win five of the next six points to go up 2-1. Both teams would hold serve all the way to 7-7, as there were no break point chances to be had with quality serving by both teams. At 7 all, team GB went up 40-15, but collapsed from there, as Inglot netted a chest volley for 40-30, .whiffed on an overhead for deuce and netted another volley to generate a break point chance for the Americans. They broke for 8-7 as Murray netted a forehand volley. In that 8-7 game, the Bryans won four consecutive points from 0-15, and on the match point the British team sent the ball long. The Bryans finished with their trademark chestbump, knowing they had kept the tie alive for team USA.
USA-Great Britain Renew Davis Cup Rivalry in Glasgow, Joe Craven Previews Joe Craven for Tennis Atlantic
The Draw being Made
Hello, my name is Joe Craven and over the next few days I’ll be providing Tennis Atlantic with on-site credentialed coverage from The Davis Cup World Group tie between Great Britain and The USA. Tennis Atlantic is one of the select few USA based media outlets to have a credentialed journalist in Glasgow for the tie.
The tie will take place at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on indoor hard court, and it will be the 20th meeting between the two founding nations of The Davis Cup with USA currently leading the head to head 11-8. The two teams last faced in the 1st round of the World Group last year. That tie took place on clay in San Diego, with Great Britain winning the meeting 3 rubbers to 1. The last time Great Britain beat USA on home soil was back in 1935, so that should give USA some confidence as they look to quickly avenge last years loss.
The Bryans, Isner and Young make up team USA
Team GB, captained by Leon Smith, consists of Andy Murray, James Ward, Jamie Murray and Dominic Ingot, with Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund as the next generation hitting partners. Team USA, captained by Jim Courier, consists of John Isner, Donald Young, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, with junior sensations Francis Tiafoe and Stefan Kozlov as hitting partners.
Team GB, Murray brothers, Ward and Inglot
The draw for the tie took place today and the order of play is as follows:
Day 1 – Andy Murray vs Donald Young followed by John Isner vs James Ward
Day 2 – Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan vs Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot
Day 3 – Andy Murray vs John Isner followed by Donald Young vs James Ward
Play will begin at 1pm GMT each day.
Day 1 Preview and picks
Donald Young (Photo: Chris Levy @Tennis_Shots for TennisEastCoast.com)
A. Murray vs. Young
Murray heads into this match with 7-0 win/loss in Davis Cup singles matches on Hard Court, his overall Davis Cup singles record is 19-2. Young has only played a Davis Cup match once, losing to Murray last year in straight sets on the clay in San Diego. Given Murray sets high standards for himself the Scot has had a less than ideal start to his season. Murray did make the final of The Australian Open where he lost to Novak Djokovic in 4 sets, but after this he’s suffered losses to Gilles Simon in Rotterdam and Borna Coric in Dubai.
Donald Young on the other hand has certainly had a good start to the season by his standards, the American reached the Quarter Finals in Auckland, the Semi Finals in Memphis and the Final of Delray Beach. Young’s 10-5 start to the season is the best start he’s had since turning pro and to put things into perspective it took him until June last year to notch 10 wins, whilst he’s already managed that amount of wins this year by February. Murray leads the head to head between the two 3-1 and as mentioned the two last faced in the tie between the two nations last year, with Murray winning that encounter in 3 sets.
After last years meeting between the two, Young will go into this tie looking to prove a point and given his recent form I think he will play Murray a lot closer than he did last year. Murray will also be looking to make of for his recent disappointments in Rotterdam and Dubai and is bound to step up his game in front of his home crowd. I think that this match has the potential to be the match of the tie and with both men having a point to prove we’re in for an amazing match. On paper Murray is the clear favourite, he has more a lot more Davis Cup experience than Donald Young and has had a far superior career to the American.
However, Young does hold a win over Murray and his fantastic form so far this season should give him a lot of confidence going into this match. Young’s serve has probably been the weakest part of his game so far this year, and with Murray being one of the best returners on tour.
Young will need to serve a lot better than he has in the past few months if he wants to have any chance of winning this match. Murray stated in the post-draw press conference that he wants to ‘try and play the same style of match’ as he did vs Young last year in San Diego and plans to employ the ‘same tactics’.
Murray needs to be the aggressor in this match because if he shows up with a passive style of play it will allow Donald Young to execute his game style well and trouble the Scot. I expect Murray will win the match but it will be a lot closer than many people think and the Emirates Arena will be in for a great match to start proceedings.
Prediction: Murray in 5 sets.
Ward vs. Isner
Both Ward and Isner have some fantastic results in the Davis Cup and you could argue some of these results were the best of each players respective careers. Isner has notched Davis Cup wins over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Gilles Simon and Roger Federer all on clay, whilst James Ward came back from 2 sets to 1 down to beat Sam Querrey when Great Britain and USA met least year in San Diego.
Isner had to miss the tie between the two sides last year due to an injury and said in the pre-draw press conference that “it was tough to swallow”, he will certainly have added motivation to lead his team to victory this year and finally find some good form after a slow start to his 2015. Ward has also had a slow start to 2015, with a less than ideal 1-3 win/loss record. In the pre-draw press conference the Brit mentioned that his win vs Querrey last year was the “biggest moment” in his career and a win vs Isner on Friday would arguably be even bigger. The two have only met an official event once and that was at a Challenger in Savannah on clay, with Isner winning that match 7-6 (4) 7-5.
They also met at an exhibition event in Kooyong this year with Ward winning that match 3-6 7-6 6-2, although though it has to be noted that exhibition matches don’t really have any bearing on what the outcome of a Davis Cup meeting will be.
Isner is the strong favourite for this match, given neither man has shown good form this season you’d always back the superior ranked player to get the win. Ward hasn’t really had any recent results to suggest that he can pull off the upset here and the slow indoor hard court should suit Isner’s game, as it allows him to run around the backhand and hit forehands which is undoubtedly his biggest weapon outside of his serve. Of course with a partisan crowd behind him you cannot write of Ward completely and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he takes a set from Isner, but ultimately I expect the American to ease to victory.
Prediction: Isner in 4 sets.
Day Two Preview and picks.
Doubles Rubber (J. Murray/Inglot vs. Bryan/Bryan tentatively)
Whilst Leon Smith has named Jamie Murray and Dom Ingot as the doubles pairing to face The Bryan Brothers, many people expect, or rather want, to see The Murray Brothers vs The Bryan Brothers. If the two sets of brothers did face it would certainly be a fantastic spectacle in front of a packed Glasgow crowd and it would be the first time doubles pairings consisting of brothers have faced off at World Group level and the 6th brothers vs brothers match at any level of the competition.
The last meeting between two sets of brothers at any Davis Cup level happened way back in 2007 when Victor Estrella and Henry Estrella of The Dominican Republic defeated Marcelo Arevalo and Rafael Arevalo of El Salvador. Jamie and Andy have only played together once in a Davis Cup match, in which they beat Laurent Bram and Mike Vermeer of Luxembourg in a Europe/Africa Group 2 tie, however the two brothers do have experience of playing together every so often on tour and they’ve captured ATP 500 titles in both Valencia and Tokyo in the past.
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan are the most successful doubles pairing of all time and have respective Davis Cup doubles records of 27-6 and 24-5. In the post draw press conference Andy Murray said that he’s “unlikely to play doubles” and whilst this might be a bluff by the British team as a whole leaving Andy’s inclusion in the doubles until the last minute, one has to assume that it will be Jamie and Dom that face The Bryan Brothers. Jamie and Dom have never played doubles together before and this, as well as the fact they are scheduled to face the best doubles team of all time, is probably one of the biggest obstacles they face heading into the match. Both Jamie and Dom have earned wins over The Bryans’ in the past with Dom notching two recent wins against the pair alongside main tour partner Florin Mergea at The Australian Open and again in Dubai. Jamie’s win against the pair came in 2013 at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston where he partnered with John Peers.
If the scheduled match up does happen, the Bryan Brother’s should have no issues in winning the match. The pair are used to this stage with over 60 Davis Cup doubles matches combined, they know what they’ll have to do to get the job done. The only chance Jamie and Dom will have of winning is if they have instant chemistry as a pair, whilst some first time doubles pairings do it’s never an easy task, especially in important matches like this. The British duo will need to feed off the crowd if they’re to have any chance of winning on Saturday, that is of course the selections remain as they are.
Prediction: The Bryan Brothers in 3 sets.
Day Three Preview and picks.
With my predictions so far I have The USA leading 2-1 going into the final day of the tie. These things are always tough to predict but I always like to be bold with my predictions because it’s no fun otherwise. Day 3 will certainly be an exciting one and will be a fitting end to what I think will be a fantastic tie.
Reverse Singles #1 (A. Murray vs. Isner tentatively)
Murray and Isner have met 3 times in the past and Murray has been victorious on all three occasions, with his last win over the giant American coming in a tight three setter in Cincinnati last year. Murray usually relishes these sort of match ups against big servers who don’t posses much of a ground game and I expect his best tennis of the weekend to come against Isner.
With Murray being one of the best returners in the game he’ll most likely have a lot of look ins on the Isner serve, especially given the current poor form that Isner is in. Murray should be able to bully Isner around the the court and punish him wherever possible, dictating the rallies from the get go. Of course, given Isner’s past Davis Cup heroics you can’t write him off completely but I’d be extremely surprised if he manages to do anything special here.
Prediction: Andy Murray in 3 sets.
Murray beating Isner on the Sunday would set things up nicely for a crucial 5th rubber, and what’s Davis Cup without a crucial 5th rubber?! The stage would be set for either James Ward to become Davis Cup heroes and give their nation the win.
Rubber 5 (Ward vs. Young tentatively)
If this match does take place, what a way it would be to end the weekend, both players are big underachievers in their careers, and whoever gets the win here would take massive confidence from it. In the post-draw press conference Young said that “he’s feeling a lot more confident than he was last year” and I think he goes into this potential match up as the slight favourite. Young still has some lapses in concentration and if this happens in a crucial 5th rubber it could be curtains for the American, especially against Ward who has relished being in front of home crowd before.
The two have faced just once before, with Young managing a straight sets win on the grass of Eastbourne in 2014. I don’t think that match will have much bearing on what happens on Sunday if the two do meet because Ward generally steps up his game for Davis Cup and Young is in much better form than he was last year. I think a match between the two will come down to some very fine margins.
Prediction: Donald Young in 4 tight sets.
Final Result: USA d. Great Britain 3-2
So there we have it, I have the USA beating Great Britain 3-2 in the tie which would see them avenge last years loss in San Diego. I think the tie could still go either way and it wouldn’t surprise me if the doubles nominations do change.
I hope you enjoyed my tie preview and I look forward providing Tennis Atlantic with full coverage of the throughout the weekend. If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback you can tweet me at @prodigyrep
Roger Federer won his first Masters level title since the 2012 edition of the Cincinnati tournament with a 6-3 1-6 6-2 defeat of David Ferrer,who was contesting his seventh Masters level final. His record drops to 1-6 in those finals. The title is the 80th overall.
Federer is creeping back up the rankings and has now solidified his hold on third place with 3 titles and 5 final appearances this season, including Toronto last week. The title is also the sixth in Cincy for the record breaking Swiss maestro.
Federer beat Ferrer for the 16th time in a row with a strong display of serving in the first set, followed by capitalizing on a poor Ferrer service game to break for 5-3 and serve out the first set. Federer went on walk abouts in set 2, narrowly avoiding a bagel, but he recovered his form for the third set, and Ferrer, though he put up a valiant fight was again vanquished, being broken multiple times and going down 6-2.
Federer had wins this week over Vasek Pospisil and Gael Monfils in 3 sets, then a rather routine straight set victory over Andy Murray, who failed to push the match into a deciding third set from 4-1 up in the second, and a straight set drubbing of Milos Raonic, who by virtue of his title in Washington and strong runs in Toronto and Cincy, leads the Emirates Airlines US Open Series points race.
Ferrer’s route to the final involved him saving match points and winning in three sets over Philipp Kohlschreiber, and that was followed by a straight set victory over Mikhail Youzhny and a 3 set win over countryman Tommy Robredo. He followed that up by dispatching a meek Julien Benneteau in straight sets in the semifinals.
WIMBLEDON CHAMPS @VASEKPOSPISIL & @JACKSOCK JOIN WORLD NO. 1 @BRYANBROS @BRYANBROTHERS IN BIG DOUBLES FIELD AT CITI OPEN® TOURNAMENT
Eight of top ten doubles players in ATP World Tour scheduled to compete
WASHINGTON—On the heels of their Wimbledon triumph, Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock reunite as a team and join World No. 1 Mike and Bob Bryan in the world-class doubles field at the Citi Open® tournament. Main draw play begins July 28 at the William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park.
Bob & Mike
Eight of the top ten doubles players in the ATP World Tour are scheduled to compete. In addition to the Bryans, the teams of Alexander Peya (No. 3) and Bruno Soares (No. 3), Daniel Nestor (No. 5) and Nenad Zimonjic (No. 6), and Marcelo Melo (No. 7) and Ivan Dodig (No. 10) round out the top ten. Julien Benneteau, who captured the Citi Open title in 2013 with Zimonjic, partners with Michael Llodra, while 2012 Citi Open champs Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot will vie to reclaim the crown.
The Bryans are looking to win their unprecedented 99th career team win in Washington, where they’ve held the doubles title three times. During the 2013 season, the 36-year-old American twins completed a Golden Slam—they won the gold in the 2012 London Olympics followed by all four Grand Slam titles in a row. Together, the Bryans have won a record 15 Grand Slam titles. Also in 2013, the Bryans finished as the No. 1 team for a record 9th time in 11 years.
The Canadian-American duo of Pospisil and Sock, who have never competed together until the London Grand Slam, accepted a wild card into the main draw. Pospisil and Sock upset defending Wimbledon champions Bryans in a five-set match to claim their first Grand Slam title.
For a complete list of the men’s doubles player field, visit http://www.citiopentennis.com. The impressive men’s singles field includes three of the top ten players on the ATP World Tour—Tomas Berdych, Milos Raonic, and Grigor Dimitrov. Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard headlines the women’s singles field.
The Citi Open® Tournament is one of only 11 elite ATP World Tour 500-level events worldwide and the only one held in the United States. The event is also part of the prestigious Emirates Airline US Open Series, the five-week summer tennis season that links eight North American hard-court tournaments to the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open. In addition, the Citi Open® Tournament features a WTA International Tournament. The tournament’s owner and beneficiary, the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF), provides underserved children in the D.C. area with a safe environment to learn critical life skills both on and off the courts through academic and athletic enrichment.
Ticket pricing and package details plus a full listing of the men’s player field is now available at http://www.citiopentennis.com, or by phone at 202-721-9500. Daily and single session tickets are now available through Ticketmaster. The tournament box office for walk-up sales opens starting Saturday, July 26, at 8 a.m. at the Fitzgerald Tennis Center.
Former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka To Join Bryan Bros. at Popular V-Grid Tennis Fest This Saturday
Two-Time Australian Open Champ Will Reunite With Winning 2008 French Open Mixed Doubles Partner Bob Bryan at V-Grid Tennis Fest Benefitting Bryan Bros. Foundation
Camarillo, Calif., – Two-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will reunite with winning 2008 French Open mixed doubles partner Bob Bryan this Saturday at the popular V-Grid Tennis Fest presented by Alexander Cadillac and Esurance and featuring Mike and Bob Bryan.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. event being held once again at the picturesque Spanish Hills Country Club in the twins’ hometown of Camarillo. Log onto http://www.bbtennisfest.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
The all-time winningest doubles team in history and holders of 15 Grand Slam titles, the Bryan twins will once again entertain friends and fans alike in a day of tennis, music, food and wine tasting. Similar to year’s past, there will be a Pro-Am, exhibition matches and the day will culminate with a concert featuring the Bryan Bros. Band.
“Of course we are really happy and thankful that our longtime pal, Vika Azarenka, is coming to help out our Foundation and play the event,” Bob Bryan said. “We had a blast playing mixed together at the French and what a thrill to win that title together.”
The Tennis Fest is headed up once again by Spanish Hills Tennis Director Dave McKinney and will be emceed by the twins’ father, Wayne Bryan. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Bryan Bros. Foundation. Over the past few years, more than $530,000 has been raised to support deserving kids and programs, specifically the Ventura County Junior Tennis Association led by Terry Lynch, and the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons and CathyAnn Simon.
“We so greatly appreciate the support of the Ventura and Santa Barbara tennis communities that all come together to help with this event,” Mike Bryan said. “It is truly a team effort by so many people, including those supportive friends and fans who buy tickets and auction items.”
In the featured match of the day, Bob Bryan and Azarenka will take on Mike Bryan and one of the U.S.’s top juniors, Las Vegas’ Kimberly Yee, who over the weekend received junior tennis’ highest honor by winning the Bill Talbert Sportsmanship award at the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Tennis stars that will be playing in the Pro-Am, besides the Bryan Brothers include Hall of Famer and former world No. 1 Tracy Austin; two-time winner of the French Open Doubles, Hank Pfister; four-time Grand Slam winner, Olympic gold medalist and No. 1 doubles player in the world, Ken Flach; former Roland Garros doubles finalist, Jeff Tarango; and former UCLA All American and NCAA singles finalist, Tony Graham.
“A very special thanks to V-Grid and Mike Cheiky for their wonderful support once again,” Mike Bryan said. “And we all appreciate the kind help of our wonderful sponsors Alexander Cadillac and Esurance.”
Added Mike: “Our young juniors girls will love being able to see Vika play up close. It will be a great inspiration to them. Vika is such a wonderful role model for up and coming juniors. She is really nice and has a sense of fun. Like, Bob, I am so glad she will be playing and adding so much to the event.”
The day after the TennisFest, the Bryans will play three home matches of Mylan World Team Tennis action for their new team, the San Diego Aviators, July 20th, 22nd and 23rd at the Valley View Casino Center (formerly the San Diego Sports Arena).