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Bryan brothers avenge Wimbledon loss to get to finals

By: Allan Blanks

Bryan brothers

Washington D.C. – It took 55 minutes for Bob and Mike Bryan, to avenge their Wimbledon defeat to the sixth ranked tandem of Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea, 6­-3, 6­-4. The Bryan brothers converted 75­-percent of their first serves, which resulted in 31 points, and five aces. With this recent victory, the Bryan brothers are one match away from their 108th championship.

“Mergea (Florin Mergea and Rohan Bopanna) have been playing us tough all year,” Mike Bryan said. “I know this tournament, so it’s nice to snap that streak.”

For 20 years, the Bryan brothers have decimated their opposition with feverish speed and fearsome power. Armed with lethal instincts, and incredible intellect, tennis courts become their canvas, and painting lines becomes a work of art.

Standing in the way of the American hopefuls, was the defiant duo of Bopanna and Mergea. When the Indo­-Romanian tandem takes the court, competitors are met by persistent pressure, relentless replies, and devastating force.

Tonight’s contest was the third meeting between the teams, and true to form, this matchup was decided by suffocating net play, and sure-­fire serving.

“We got snapped in the first game,” Bob Bryan said. “They (Bopanna/Mergea) had the momentum, they beat us at Wimbledon, so they had us by the throat. A couple double faults, we (Bryan brothers) got the break, we were back in the match.”

As the pair of Bopanna and Mergea struggled to find their serve, the Bryan brothers took complete advantage. In the opening set, the sixth ranked doubles team was broken three times, and surrendered nine points from second serves. Five of those points were the results of double­-faults.

“Mike (Mike Bryan) hit some great returns,” Bob Bryan said. “Mike (Mike Bryan) earned some break points, we got three break points in the first set, which is a lot of breaks for a doubles match.”

Contrary to their opponents, the Bryan brothers completed 72­-percent of their first serves, while Bopanna and Mergea tallied 53-­percent. Perhaps the greatest difference was the Bryan brothers posting 14 points won from first serves, compared to their competitors nine.

“Their (Bopanna/Mergea) struggles on serve kept them frustrated, “ Bob Bryan said. “As they (Bopanna and Mergea) struggled more, we (Bryan brothers) gained confidence and actually served great.”

In the second stanza, the top­seeded tandem unleashed four aces, and increased their first serve percentage to 73­-percent. Although Bopanna and Mergea improved their first serve efficiency to 75­percent, they were out scored by the Bryan brothers 17­-15, in points won from first serving.

“To win here [The Citi Open] again would be special,” Mike Bryan said. “This is where we got our first breakthrough in 98 [1998], this [tournament] propelled us into the top 100, and we’ve been there every since. So, that would be really cool to come back and win here.”

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Allan Blanks

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