Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bryans in 10th Aus Open Final

Plenty of Stars and Stripes on Australia Day aka Women's Singles Semi Final Day at Aus Open 2017 which began with an appetiser in the form of a men's doubles semi final.  Later of course three of the four women featured come from the USA.
In the doubles encounter, unseeded Spanish pair Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez faced legendary Americans and third seeds the Bryan brothers, Mike and Bob.

The Bryans defeated ninth seeded Dodig and Granollers in their quarter final, while the victims of the Spanish pair were another unseeded combination Bolt and Mousley.  Each of those matches went the three set distance, and hopefully this match was going to have a similar fate.
The skies were cloudy and rain was not out of the question.

The Americans served first, Bob at the line.  Mike's overhead took them to 30-0 and his severe volley to three game points.  One was saved with a slashing Guillermo return winner, but an ace put paid to any come back plans.

Great volleying exchanging by the twins and 0-15.  A Pablo pass steadied his team.
Sharp volley from Guillermo and 40-15.  Ace for the game. 1-1
Awesome returning of the Mike Bryan serve by the Spaniards created three break points but spectacular volleying and a safe overhead from Mike saved two.  Pablo passed the Americans for the break and a 2-1 early advantage.

A Pablo smash off a fine Guillermo serve and then a volley splitting the Americans took the Spaniards to 30-0.  Pablo was on fire and another top volley winner set up three game points and he sealed a 3-1 lead with a third.

Bob didn't mess around, a love game keeping the twins in touch at 2-3.  Mike put away an overhead to begin the assault on Pablo's serve, then at the net proved impassable, sending another smash into open court.  A double fault created two break chances for the Bryans and a long shot from Pablo was fatal. 3-3.

Mike lost the opening point of game seven to a Spanish winner, but redeemed himself with a clever volley.  Big serving kept the others out of contention for the remainder of the game, an ace giving the lead to America 4-3.  Two returns out of court and a perfectly weighted Pablo lob were enough to see scores reach 4-4.

The Americans won out in a furious net exchange, setting the tone for another excellent Bob Bryan service game, interrupted only by an exquisite Guillermo passing shot. 4-5 and Pablo under pressure to hold for the set to continue.
Great interception by Guillermo and 15-0.  After an ace the Bryans swarmed the net and intimidated the Spanish pair into the loss of two points.  However Pablo stayed strong, and served out the final two points for 5-5.

Brilliant doubles by both teams saw the Spanish pair take the honours and move closer at 15-30.  Smart work by Guillermo set up a Pablo forehand winner but the Bryans steadied and a sharp stop volley from Bob won the game for 6-5.
Textbook serve volley stuff for the first two points, then a Guillermo ace and just a point from the tie break.  Mike's forehand and Bob's effort kept them them there.  A fortunate net cord won the game and the tie break resulted.

Bob won his point on serve as expected.  Pablo double faulted disappointingly.  Mike volleyed to the body of Guillermo and the Bryans were 3-0 to the good.  The Spaniards were unable to handle a smash and when Pablo pushed one wide a massive 5-0 lead had been established.  Six set points arrived with a winning volley from Mike. Guillermo finally put a score on the board with an overhead, but an easy volley won the set 7-6 (1) for the Americans.  That was how to play a tiebreak.

Guillermo began serving in the second set with an uphill battle ahead.  A double fault was unhelpful and 15-30 was a concern.  Not for long as it turned into 40-30.  A friendly net cord set up a winner for the Americans and then an error from Guillermo created a break point.  He saved it.  And a second.  More deuces in this game than we'd seen all match and when Pablo was nearly assaulted by an American bullet, another break point was created.  The third was saved.  Break point number four came as the game descended further into farce and light rain fell again.

"Oh maybe we should have had the roof closed after all", thought the tournament organisers, once again proving that their qualifications don't extend to meteorology.  Come to think of it many of their scheduling decisions have also left a little to be desired so a lesson or two in that area wouldn't go astray either.

Players back on court as the roof almost reached its shut position, the Spanish team down a set and break point in the first game of set two.  Deuce for the hundredth time. Break point five.  Pablo saved it with a forehand overhead.  An ace from Guillermo and 1-0.
Bob Bryan served first for the twins in set two and although taken to 15-30, suffered not for it, then Guillermo with three volleys made life easy for Pablo on serve and the Spaniards led 2-1
2-2 soon after.

Break point once more on the Guillermo serve.  Double fault and the Americans had a 3-2 lead.
Two Guillermo return winners made it 30-30 but Bob Bryan served out the game and 4-2.  

Probably the net point of the match ended with Spain winning to go to 15-15 on Pablo's serve.  However the net press of the Bryans forced errors and a precarious 15-30.  Pablo eased it with a winner and two aces.  3-4.
A love game from Mike Bryan put him and his brother a game away from another Grand Slam tournament final.

An overhead winner gave match point to the Bryan brothers and they won with the next, in two sets 7-6 (1) 6-3.  Into their 10th Aus Open Men's Doubles final.

No comments:

Post a Comment