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Bryan Bros dominance continues at Citi Open

By: Allan Blanks

The Bryan brothers won their fourth Citi Open title and fifth title of 2015.

The Bryan brothers won their fourth Citi Open title and fifth title of 2015.

Washington D.C. – For Bob and Mike Bryan, the road to 108 titles was paved by vengeance. Swiftly and decisively, the Bryan Brothers dismissed the duo of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo, 6­-4, 6­-2. It took 55 minutes to avenge their French Open defeat, and reclaim their championship form.

“I think this tournament is really valuable for our confidence,” Bob Bryan said. “Going into the hard court summer, it’s good to get some momentum, and it’s nice to get some revenge.”

Like all great champions, the Bryan brothers assessed their defeat, and realized the changes that needed to move ahead. Throughout the contest, the Americans consistently disguised their formations, and varied their court positioning. Dodig and Melo found themselves off balanced and out of rhythm.

“It’s always about throwing in a different wrinkle,” Mike Bryan said. “You want to surprise your opponent with a different game plan. Last time we played one way, this time we surprised them (Dodig and Melo) by playing another way. I think our serving formation was different.”

Today, the Americans served from the IFormation, which took away Dodig and Melo’s game-­breaking returns. For the match, the Bryan brothers generated 23 points from returns, while their opponents were held to 13.

“Historically, we’re not an I-­Formation team,” Mike Bryan said. “Today, we did it, maybe they (Dodig and Melo) weren’t ready for it, but they’ll be ready next time.”

Dodig and Melo applied huge serves and destructive volleys. The Bryan brothers produced three aces, and chalked up two double-­faults, while their opponents generated five aces and one double-­fault. However, inconsistent play nullified Dodig and Melo’s ability to win games.

“We’ve always played exciting matches,” Dodig said. “I would say this one today was the easiest so [for the Bryan brothers]. It’s obviously terrible [the result], but everyone wants to play against them (The Bryan brothers). They are very good, they play on a high level, and I feel if we played our best we could compete against them.”

Throughout the Citi Open, the American tandem has consistently broken their opponents. Today’s championship was no different, as the Bryan brothers converted three breakpoints. Aside from disrupting the service games of Dodig and Melo, the top­-seeded duo outscored their opponents 23­-13, from points earned on returns.

Chemistry and confidence has been the Bryan brothers calling card, and this victory was critical for the pair moving forward.

“The teams that are having the most success, are the teams that stayed together,” Mike Bryan said. “It’s very hard to have a breakthrough in a grand slam, when you’re a new partnership. The communication is very important in doubles, Dodig and Melo won the French Open, but they’ve been together for close to five years before that breakthrough. So they are very deserving of that, and they are going to be around in all the late stages of the tournament.”

In six finals appearances, the Bryan brothers have acquired their fourth Citi Open championship. The American tandem, credit this tournament for propelling them to stardom, and being a place that provides confidence.

“This [victory] will help us in the next three tournaments,” Bob Bryan said. “The crescendo is obviously the U.S. Open in New York, that’s where we want to peak, and I feel like we’re on our way.”

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