Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bryans seek fourth ATP World Tour Finals doubles title

   They've already won eight titles this year, including Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP doubles ranking for a record seventh time.
   What's left for ex-Stanford All-Americans Bob and Mike Bryan?
   The 33-year-old twin sons of Sacramento Capitals coach Wayne Bryan will try to win the Barclays ATP  World Tour Finals, featuring the top eight doubles teams in the 2011 point standings, for the fourth time. Peter Fleming and John McEnroe hold the record of seven doubles titles in the Finals (consecutively beginning in 1978).
  This year's tournament, which also includes the top eight singles players of the year, is scheduled for Sunday through Nov. 27 in London.
   The Bryan brothers, who will surpass McEnroe's record of 270 weeks at No. 1 on Dec. 12, are seeded first in Group A. In a matchup of the last two Wimbledon doubles champions, they will open against seventh-seeded Jurgen Melzer of Austria and Philipp Petzschner of Germany on Monday in round-robin play.
   In Monday's other Group A doubles match, fourth-seeded Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes of India will meet sixth-seeded Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Horia Tecau of Romania.
   In Group B on Sunday, No. 2 seeds Michael Llodra of France and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia will take on eighth-seeded Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland, and No. 3 seeds Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada will play fifth-seeded Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.
   Nestor and Zimonjic won last year's title.
   Meanwhile, Roger Federer will seek his record sixth singles title in the ATP World Tour Finals. Federer, who has won 12 matches in a row (including titles at the Swiss Indoors and Paris Masters) and 17 of his last 18 beginning with the U.S. Open, is seeded fourth.
   Joining Federer in Group B are No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain, No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and No. 8 Mardy Fish of Tampa, Fla.
   Group A consists of No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia, No. 3 Andy Murray of Great Britain, No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain and No. 7 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
   The top four singles players and top four doubles teams in round-robin play will advance to the semifinals.
   Tennis Channel will provide live coverage of the tournament starting at 4 a.m. PST from Sunday through Nov. 26 and at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 27 (doubles final). ESPN2 will televise the singles final live at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 27.
   Ex-Cal star loses early -- Unseeded Conor Niland, the 2006 Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Year from Cal, lost to qualifier Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of the $57,600 Salzburg (Austria) Indoors.

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