Saturday, June 8, 2013

After 10 years, Bryans repeat in French Open

Bob, right, and Mike Bryan, playing in the SAP Open at San Jose
in February, edged France's Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut
for their second French Open title. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Serena Williams wasn't the only one to end a French Open title drought today.
   Top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan edged unseeded Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) for their second Roland Garros crown and first in 10 years.
   “It's great winning slams with your brother," Mike Bryan told reporters. "We really wanted to win another (Roland Garros). It's been ten years. This is the first one we won back in the day and kind of launched our career. This is the toughest Slam to win, I think. Clay is an equalizer and makes a lot of teams better.”
   Williams, who has won the last two Bank of the West Classic titles at Stanford, defeated Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4 for her second French Open title and first in 11 years. Williams is not entered in this year's Bank of the West Classic, July 22-28, but Sharapova, the 2010 runner-up to Victoria Azarenka, is.
   The Bryan twins, 35-year-old former Stanford All-Americans originally from Camarillo in the Los Angeles area, became the first team to complete a career Grand Slam twice. They won the first of their record 14 Grand Slam men's doubles titles at the French Open.
   For the first time in their illustrious careers, the Bryans are halfway to the calendar-year Grand Slam in men's doubles. They won their sixth Australian Open title in January, breaking the record of 12 major men's doubles titles they had shared with Aussies John Newcombe and Tony Roche. The Bryans also have won two Wimbledons and four U.S. Opens.
   The Bryans ended the clay-court season with 14 consecutive victories for the titles in Madrid, Rome and Paris. They have won seven titles overall this year
   Llodra, 33, and Mahut, 31, were trying to become the first French team to win Roland Garros since Henri Leconte and Yannick Noah in 1984.
   “It's not finished until the end, and you have to fight until the last ball,” Llodra said. “Today we were close to losing the match two sets to love, and we fought until the end. We got chances, but not enough to [beat] the Bryans today.”
   Llodra and Mahut had upset fifth-seeded Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau in the second round and second-seeded Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the quarterfinals. Mirnyi has won four French Open men's doubles titles, in 2005 and 2006 with Jonas Bjorkman and in 2011 and 2012 with Daniel Nestor.
  Llodra was seeking his fourth Grand Slam men's doubles crown. He captured the Australian Open in 2003 and 2004 with countryman Fabrice Santoro and Wimbledon in 2007 with France's Arnaud Clement.
   Mahut was playing in his first Grand Slam final. He is best known for losing 70-68 in the fifth set to John Isner in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010.

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