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Friday, September 6, 2013

US Open - Andy Murray tumbles; Bob and Mike Bryan also fall....


At US open day 11, was one of upsets….. At 35, there are few records left for Bob and Mike Bryan, the most successful doubles team of all time. The twins ~ Robert Charles Bryan (Bob) and Michael Carl Bryan (Mike), have won multiple Olympic medals, including the gold in 2012 and have won more professional games, matches, tournaments and Grand Slams than any other pairing. They have held the World No. 1 doubles ranking jointly for 328 weeks (as of Sept 2013), which is longer than anyone else in doubles history. They have also finished the ATP year-end number 1 doubles team a record 8 times. Between 2005 and 2006, they set an Open Era record by competing in seven consecutive men's doubles Grand Slam finals. On April 11, 2013, they recorded their Open Era record 800th match win by defeating Johan Brunstrom and Jesse Levine in the semi-finals of Houston. Following their triumph at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, the Bryans became the only doubles pairing in the Open Era to hold all four major titles at once, as well as the only team in history to hold all four majors and Olympic gold simultaneously. Born on April 29, 1978, Mike being older by two minutes, and Bob taller by 3 cm, they are the name in doubles…..

Andy Murray is always among the leaders when the ATP's year-end return-of-serve stats are released.  The whole of UK erupted when he won the Wimbledon and is the defending champion here; but against surging Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka in the US Open quarterfinals on Thursday, he never really got a chance to employ his return game at all. In fact, the No. 9-seeded Wawrinka was serving so well (he won 37 or 42 first-serve points) that Murray never saw any break-point chances.  He surprisingly fell in straight sets - 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.  Wawrinka,  played an aggressive brand of tennis, winning 31 of 42 points at the net and having the confidence to keep the ball out of the middle of the court by going for the lines and advanced to the first Grand Slam semifinal of his 11-year pro career. Murray had won six of their last eight matches, but Wawrinka had claimed their most recent meeting (a lopsided 6-1, 6-2  at the Monte Carlo Masters)

Getting back to the doubles, after dominating the first set, in which they lost just one point on serve, the world No. 1 doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan lost, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, to Indian Leander Paes and Czech Radek Stepanek, ending their bid to become the first men’s doubles team in the Open era to win the calendar-year Grand Slam.

Thursday's semifinal was a rematch of the 2012 US Open final, in which the Bryans defeated Paes and Stepanek in straight sets. The Bryans played a relatively clean match, with 29 winners and just three unforced errors, but the attacking the game of Paes and Stepanek proved the difference, finishing with 42 winners. Paes and Stepanek now advance to the US Open men’s doubles final for the second year in a row.

Away, regardless  of the outcome of her semifinal showdown with defending champion Serena Williams, US Open semifinalist Li Na will already have one trophy for her mantle. The No. 5 seed received the 2013 “US Open Sportsmanship Award,” presented annually to the male and female pros who best demonstrate excellence in sportsmanship throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series and the US Open. The award was presented to Li today at the US Open by USTA Immediate Past President Jon Vegosen.

The USTA started a Sportsmanship Committee in 2011, with the goal being to, “educate and inspire youngsters and their parents to develop and exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and an attitude of fair play and mutual respect on and off the tennis court. Underlying the charge is the ethical imperative that fairness is more important than winning.” Eligibility requirements for winners include participating in at least two Series tournaments, as well as the 2013 US Open. Each US Open Sportsmanship Award winner receives a trophy and a $5,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice. The men’s winner this year was David Ferrer, with Bob and Mike Bryan and Samantha Stosur earning the inaugural awards at the 2012 US Open.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Photos and news credit : www.usopen.org

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