Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bryans win Sydney, seek fourth straight Aussie title

   On to Melbourne.
   Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan tuned up for their Australian Open title defense by winning their second Sydney doubles championship and 76th title overall.
   The 33-year-old identical twins and former Stanford All-Americans, playing in their first tournament of the year, beat wild cards Matthew Ebden of Australia and Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-1, 6-4 in 53 minutes Saturday in the $434,250 Apia International.
   The Bryans also won Sydney in 2009 and reached the final there in 2004, 2008 and 2011.   
   "Thanks to everyone for another great event," Mike Bryan, who has teamed with Bob to win an Open Era record-tying 11 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, said on atpworldtour.com. "Sydney is a beautiful city, and we always enjoy starting the year here. We love this tourney, and we think it's the perfect springboard into the year's first Grand Slam. We're excited for Melbourne and the rest of 2012."
   This year's Australian Open begins today at 4 p.m. PST (ESPN2). The Bryans, ranked No. 1 in the world, seek their fourth straight Australian title and sixth in seven years. They also reached the final in 2004 and 2005, so they've appeared in the final in seven of the past eight years.
     The Sydney doubles final marked the 30-year-old Nieminen's 12th match of the week, the maximum possible in the tournament. In singles, he won three matches in qualifying and five in the main draw to win the title. Reaching the doubles final meant another four matches.

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