Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bryan brothers clinch year-end No. 1 ranking again

   The honors keep rolling in for Bob and Mike Bryan.
   And they're not done yet.
   The former Stanford All-Americans clinched the year-end No. 1 ATP doubles team ranking for a record seventh time Wednesday with their victory in the $2.85 million Valencia (Spain) Open. They dismissed Lukas Dlouhy of the Czech Republic and Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine 6-3, 6-2 in the first round.
   The Bryans won two Grand Slam titles (the Australian Open and Wimbledon) this year to give them 11 for their career, tying the Open Era record of International Tennis Hall of Famers Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.
   Overall, the Bryans have won eight titles this year and an Open Era-record 75 for their career. Individually, the 33-year-old twin sons of Sacramento Capitals coach Wayne Bryan have been ranked No. 1 in doubles for 265 weeks and will surpass John McEnroe's record of 270 weeks on Dec. 12.
   The twins will compete in the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Nov. 20-27 in London.
   "We're obviously extremely pumped to finish at No. 1, especially with the quality of teams on the doubles tour," Bob said on the ATP's Web site. "It's always our ultimate goal when we start the year, and we'll definitely look back on 2011 with positive feelings. I want to congratulate our biggest rivals -- (Max) Mirnyi-(Daniel) Nestor, (Michael) Llodra-(Nenad) Zimonjic and the Indian Express (Mahesh Bhupathi-Lander Paes) on highly successful seasons, and we look forward to another awesome event with the eight best teams in London.
   "Breaking McEnroe's record is something that is hard to fathom. He's such a legend, and to achieve something like this won't truly set in for a while. Thanks (go) to our great coach; David Macpherson; my beautiful and supportive wife; our parents, who are always rooting from their computer screen back home; and all the tennis fans who get behind the great game of doubles."
  Added Mike: "It's always a special feeling finishing the year as the top team. I think it's more satisfying than winning a Slam because it represents the season as a whole. When we now look back at 2011, it will be with a lot of fond memories. The level of tennis always keeps getting stronger, so I'm most proud of our willingness to improve as we get older.
   "I especially want thank our coach and one of our best friends, David Macpherson, who always is there for us win or lose and always pushes us to strive for more."      
   In the first round of singles in Valencia, Folsom resident Dmitry Tursunov lost to sixth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, the runner-up in Vienna last week and 2009 U.S. Open champion, 6-4, 6-1.
   Top seed and defending champion David Ferrer of Spain ousted qualifier Vasek Pospisil, a promising Canadian, 6-3, 6-3.
   Roddick vs. Radek -- Almost four years ago, Andy Roddick defeated Radek Stepanek to win the SAP Open in San Jose and mocked the Czech's trademark "worm dance" afterward.
   The Roddick vs. Radek show will resume Thursday in the second round of the $2.6 million Swiss Indoors in Basel.
   The seventh-seeded Roddick, a three-time SAP Open champion (2004, 2005 and 2008), beat Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 6-4, and the unseeded Stepanek, who won the 2009 SAP Open, breezed past Santiago Giraldo of Colombia 6-1, 6-3.
   Also in 2009, Haas and Stepanek won the doubles title in San Jose, and Giraldo captured the singles crown in the Sacramento Challenger.
   Roddick, 29, is 6-1 lifetime against Stepanek, 32.
   Second-seeded Andy Murray, the San Jose champion in 2006 and 2007, withdrew before his first-round match with a right gluteal strain.
    In doubles, former Stanford All-American Scott Lipsky suffered his fifth consecutive loss. The Huntington Beach resident and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico fell to third-seeded Christopher Kas of Germany and Alexander Peya of Austria 7-6 (0), 6-2.
   Lipsky and Gonzalez became partners at Barcelona in April and saved four match points to beat the Bryans and win the title. Lipsky also won the doubles crown in the inaugural Sacramento Challenger in 2005 with former Stanford teammate David Martin, and Gonzalez reached the doubles final in Sacramento in 2009 with Travis Rettenmaier.
   Schnack beats ex-Capital -- Yasmin Schnack, a Sacramento-area resident, coasted past former Capital Tammy Hendler 6-2, 6-3 in the first round of the Grapevine (Texas) Women's $50,000 Tennis Classic.
   Hendler, a 19-year-old South Africa native, lives in Bradenton, Fla., and plays for Belgium. Her mother was born in the former Belgian Congo.
   Ilyushin wins twice -- Artem Ilyushin won twice in the $10,000 Bluewater Bay Professional Tournament in Niceville, Fla.
   Ilyushin, a Mississippi State senior from the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, outlasted qualifier Maverick Banes of Australia 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in the first round of singles. Ilyushin then teamed with Gilad Ben Zvi of Israel to beat Benjamin Balleret of Monaco and Didier Lanne of France 7-5, 6-1 in the doubles quarterfinals.
   Kiryl Harbatsiuk, a former Sacramento State star from Belarus, and Boris Nicola Bakalov of Bulgaria lost to Americans Harrison Adams and Shane Vinsant 6-4, 7-5.

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