Friday, November 16, 2018

Bryan, Sock lose but reach doubles semis in ATP Finals

   Mike Bryan and Jack Sock didn't exactly end the round-robin phase of the Nitto ATP Finals on a high note.
   But the fifth seeds reached Saturday's doubles semifinals anyway.
   Eighth-seeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut dominated Bryan (Stanford, 2017-18) and Sock 6-2, 6-2 in 53 minutes today in London to win Group Knowles Nestor. Both teams finished 2-1. Top-seeded Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic (1-2) and third-seeded Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo (1-2) were eliminated.
   Fourth-seeded Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares (3-0) and second-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (2-1) advanced in Group Llodra Santoro on Thursday. Sixth-seeded Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus (1-2), seventh-seeded Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya (0-2), and ninth-seeded Henri Kontinen and John Peers (0-1) were ousted.
   Kontinen and Peers, the two-time defending champions, replaced Mektic and Peya after the 37-year-old Peya suffered an elbow injury.
   In singles today, top seed and five-time champion Novak Djokovic beat fifth-seeded Marin Cilic 7-6 (7), 6-2 to improve to 34-2 since the start of Wimbledon. Also, third-seeded Alexander Zverev downed eighth-seeded John Isner 7-6 (5), 6-3. Isner replaced two-time runner-up Rafael Nadal, who withdrew on Nov. 5 with ankle and abdominal injuries.
   Djokovic (3-0) and Zverev (2-1) advanced to the semifinals in Group Guga Kuerten, while Cilic (1-2) and Isner (0-3) were eliminated. Second seed and six-time champion Roger Federer (2-1) and fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson (2-1) moved into the semis in Group Lleyton Hewitt, while sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem (1-2) and seventh-seeded Kei Nishikori (1-2) fell short.
   In Saturday's semis on Tennis Channel, Bryan and Sock are scheduled to face Murray and Soares at 4 a.m. PST, followed by Federer against Zverev not before 6 a.m., Cabal and Farah versus Herbert and Mahut not before 10 a.m., and Djokovic against Anderson not before noon.
   Federer, 37, is 3-2 against the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Zverev, 21. Federer won their last meeting, 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-1 in the round-robin portion of last year's ATP Finals.
   Djokovic defeated the 6-foot-8 (2.03-meter) Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3) to win his fourth Wimbledon singles title in July. Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 7-1 and owns a seven-match winning streak against Anderson.
   WTA tour -- Third-seeded Desirae Krawczyk and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area, will play unseeded Maegan Manasse (Cal, 2014-17) and Jessica Pegula for the doubles title in the $150,000 Oracle Challenger Series -- Houston.

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