Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bryans end year with loss in ATP World Tour Finals

No. 5 seeds John Peers, above, and Henri Kontinen
defeated No. 3 Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (2), 6-4 in
the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in
London. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   The Bryan brothers, widely regarded as the greatest men's doubles team ever, finished a disappointing year on Saturday.
   Third-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford stars originally from Camarillo in the Los Angeles area, lost to fifth-seeded Henri Kontinen of Finland and John Peers of Australia 7-6 (2), 6-4 in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London. 
   Kontinen and Peers will face seventh-seeded Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., in today's final (7:30 a.m. PST, Tennis Channel). Klaasen and Ram surprised second-seeded Jamie Murray of Great Britain and Bruno Soares of Brazil 6-1, 6-4.
   Ram won the 2011 SAP Open in San Jose with ex-Stanford All-American Scott Lipsky. The tournament ended a 125-year run in Northern California after the 2013 edition.
   The 38-year-old Bryan twins have won a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles, four ATP World Tour Finals crowns and 112 titles overall. But this year, they:
   --Failed to win a major for the second consecutive year.
   --Won three titles (all on clay), their fewest since 2000. In the past four years, the Bryans' crowns have declined from 11 to 10 to six to three.
   --Did not reach a final after falling to Felicano Lopez and Marc Lopez (no relation) of Spain in the French Open in early June.
   Kontinen and Peers extended their winning streak to nine matches, including their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Paris two weeks ago. In the quarterfinals there, they defeated the Bryans 6-4, 6-2 in the first meeting between the teams.
   Kontinen, 26, is playing in his first ATP World Tour Finals and Peers, 28, his second. Peers and Murray were eliminated in the round-robin phase last year.
   In today's singles final, top-seeded Andy Murray will play second-seeded Novak Djokovic for the year-end No. 1 ranking (10 a.m., ESPN2).
   Murray, hoping to win the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time, saved a match point in a scintillating 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9) victory over Milos Raonic. Both players went undefeated in the SAP Open, combining for five singles titles (three by Raonic).
   Djokovic, seeking his fifth straight ATP World Tour Finals title and sixth overall, crushed fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1.

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