Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bryans seek first French Open crown in 10 years

   Ten years ago at the French Open, Bob and Mike Bryan won the first of their record 13 Grand Slam men's doubles titles.
   The 35-year-old identical twins and former NCAA doubles champions from Stanford are still looking for their second French Open title and might have a good shot this year. Not only are the Bryans hot, many of their top rivals have been eliminated.
   The top-ranked Bryans reached the third round on clay in Paris on Saturday, beating Eric Butorac and Jack Sock 7-5, 7-6 (2) in an all-American matchup.
   The Bryans will meet the winner of today's encounter between 13th-seeded Julien Benneteau of France and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and unseeded Christopher Kas of Germany and Oliver Marach of Austria.
   Already ousted are No. 3 seeds Robert Lindstedt and Daniel Nestor, No. 4 Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna and No. 5 Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau. No. 2 Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, both of Spain, are scheduled to play their second-round match today.
   The Bryans probably shed no tears when Mirnyi was eliminated. The twins have lost in the French Open final three times, and the 6-foot-5 (1.96-meter) "Beast of Belarus" played on the winning team each time. Mirnyi teamed with since-retired Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden in 2005 and 2006, and with Nestor last year.
   The Bryans are having one of their best seasons with six titles, including the Australian Open for the sixth time, Indian Wells for the first time in their native Southern California, and Madrid and Rome on the European clay-court circuit. The most titles they have won in a season is 11, in 2007 and 2010. The Bryans have captured 88 overall.
   World TeamTennis -- The Sacramento Capitals announced that individual tickets for 2013 home matches are available by visiting, e-mailing or calling (916) 304-5722.
   Sacramento -- coached by the Bryans' father, Wayne -- opens the season with five matches at Capitals Stadium at Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights on July 7, 8, 10, 12 and 13. Mardy Fish is scheduled to play the last three of those matches, although the former top-10 player withdrew from the French Open with ongoing heart problems.
   The Capitals also will host the Texas Wild, featuring Bob and Mike Bryan, on July 17 and end the regular season at home on July 22 in 20th-ranked Sam Querrey's only appearance at Sunrise Mall this season. In addition, Querrey is scheduled to play three road matches at the end of the season.
   All home matches will be at 7:35 p.m.
   Mark Knowles, 41, will return for his 12th season with Sacramento. He has been ranked No. 1 in the world in men's doubles and won three WTT Male MVP awards (2001, 2005 and 2007).
   Also playing for Sacramento will be:
   --Ryan Sweeting, the 2005 U.S. Open boys singles champion.
   --Seventeen-year-old Taylor Townsend, who last year became the first American girl to hold the year-end No. 1 junior ranking since Gretchen Rush in 1982.
   --Megan Moulton-Levy, a 5-foot (1.52-meter) American ranked a career-high No. 62 in women's doubles.
   Townsend and Moulton-Levy will make their WTT debuts.
   Ticket prices are $25 to $70, with discounts for children. Season tickets and five-match packages are available for $112 to $392.

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