Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bryan brothers endure another title drought

   Bob and Mike Bryan aren't just enduring a Grand Slam title drought.
   The ex-Stanford stars also are suffering a dry spell in Masters 1000 tournaments, the highest level after the Slams.
   Unseeded John Isner and Jack Sock edged the seventh-seeded Bryans 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) today in an all-American final in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
   The Bryans, who will turn 40 next month, haven't won a Grand Slam men's doubles title since the 2014 U.S. Open or a Masters 1000 crown since the 2016 Italian Open. Their most recent title of any kind came in Atlanta last July.
   The Bryans were seeking their third Indian Wells title, having triumphed in 2013 and 2014.
   Meanwhile, Sock won his second Indian Wells doubles crown and Isner his first.  
   "It's pretty special," Isner, the 2012 singles runner-up to Roger Federer at Indian Wells, told reporters. "I think more importantly for Jack and (me), (it's) just getting that winning feeling back. Admittedly, both of us have not played singles that well this year."
   Sock and Canada's Vasek Pospisil won Wimbledon in 2014 and Indian Wells in 2015. They also reached the BNP final in 2016, losing to Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
    Isner and Sock became only the third team in the past 30 years to win the Indian Wells title without losing a set. Jonathan Erlich-Andy Ram (2008) and Rafael Nadal-Marc Lopez (2012) also accomplished the feat.
   Isner and Sock received a walkover against Roberto Bautista Agut and David Ferrer in the second round after the Spaniards had ousted top seeds and 2017 runners-up Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.
   Isner and Sock also beat eighth-seeded Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram in two tiebreakers in the quarterfinals. Ram won last year's title with Raven Klaasen.

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