Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Bryans breeze into French Open semifinals

   Bob and Mike Bryan appear to be headed for their 14th Grand Slam men's doubles title, second of the year and second at the French Open.
   The 1998 NCAA champions from Stanford won their 12th straight match today, dismissing the eighth-seeded Spanish team of David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 in 54 minutes to reach the semifinals in Paris.
   The Bryans, 35-year-old identical twins originally from Camarillo in the Los Angeles area, are coming off titles in Madrid and Rome. They have not lost a set at Roland Garros and only once have played more than an hour.
   The only other seeded team remaining in the French Open is the Bryans' next opponent, No. 7 Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil. The Bryans brushed aside Peya and Soares 6-2, 6-3 three weeks ago for the Madrid title.
   In Thursday's other semifinal, unseeded Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut will face Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina. Llodra has won three Grand Slam men's doubles titles but never the French Open and never with Mahut, who equaled his best doubles result in a major.
   The Bryans won the Australian Open in January, defeating Dutchmen Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling, and the French Open 10 years ago, beating Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands and Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia, for their first Grand Slam men's doubles title.            
   The Bryans have lost in the French Open final three times, including last year to Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada.   
   Peya and Soares reached their first Grand Slam semifinal together. They led the 16th-seeded Polish team of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski 1-6, 6-4, 3-1 when Fystenberg retired with a pulled back muscle. He had suffered the injury in his previous doubles match.
   Peya and Soares have won five ATP World Tour titles since becoming partners 11 months ago, according to Quarterfinalists at the U.S. Open last year, they both seek their first major final.
   Also Thursday, 11th-seeded Taylor Townsend of Stockbridge, Ga., will meet second-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland in the junior girls quarterfinals.
   Townsend, 17, is scheduled to make her World TeamTennis debut for the Sacramento Capitals at home on July 7. In 2012, she became the first American in 30 years to hold the year-end No. 1 girls ranking. 

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