Bryan Brothers Commit To 2013 BB&T Atlanta Open
TOURNAMENT DATE SET FOR JULY 20-28
ATLANTA, December 14, 2012 – The BB&T Atlanta Open announced today that the world’s top-ranked doubles team and Olympic gold medalists Bob and Mike Bryan have committed to play in the tournament next year.
Also, the ATP World Tour 250 event announced the 2013 tournament will be played July 20-28. The BB&T Atlanta Open will be the first men’s event on the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series schedule.
The Bryan brothers are among the most accomplished men’s doubles team of all time. Known for their match-clinching chest bumps, the 34-year-old twins recently won their 12th Grand Slam men’s doubles title at the 2012 US Open. That victory broke the record for men’s doubles team in the Open era held by Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge. Overall, the Bryans hold 82 doubles crowns, more than any other men’s doubles team in history.
The Bryans have been the year-end top-ranked team in the world a record eight times, including each of the last four years. They hold a 20-2 Davis Cup record and have won more than $18 million in prize money. Winners of the first US Open Sportsmanship Award, in 2012, they have also been named ATPWorldTour.com Fans’ Favorite Team from 2005-12.
Tournament Director Bob Bryant said, “We are extremely proud to bring the foremost doubles team in the world to Atlanta. As the top market in the country for doubles league play, we know Atlanta will be excited to watch the Bryans vie for their first BB&T Atlanta Open doubles title. Our wonderful, unique site at Atlantic Station was cited as one of their reasons they really wanted to play in Atlanta.”
For 2013, the tournament’s qualifying rounds are scheduled July 20-21. Main draw matches are set to run from July 22-28. The tournament moves into the week that had been occupied by the Los Angeles tournament, which will move to Bogota, Colombia.
“The schedule change should result in even greater player fields with a longer break after Wimbledon and by being the first of the Emirates Airline US Open Series events. The BB&T Atlanta Open will be the only hard-court tournament on the ATP World Tour that week, drawing more players preparing for America’s Grand Slam,” Bryant added.
—Ron Cioffi, USTA
Roddick, Ebden/Harrison are Champs in Atlanta
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Andy Roddick came back from a set down to defeat Gilles Muller 1-6, 7-6, 6-2 and claim the 32nd title of his career, and his second in the last three tournaments played. Roddick started out tense and got irritated by the sun, his opponent’s consistency and his top-notch serving early on. He quickly went down 0-3 and ended up dropping the 1st set 6-1 to Muller, who had all the momentum while Roddick had to call the trainer. Many thought he was completely out of the match but he charged back, holding in three service games late in the second set by his fingernails. Roddick fought them off at deuce with aces and sharp returns, forced a tiebreak and charged ahead, taking the breaker and then closing the door on a shaken Muller in the third set. Roddick went up a double break and served it out for the title.
Muller had his chances at finishing off the match and his serving was excellent in the first and second set. Toward the end of the second, he began to lose his energy and struggled to connect on first serves, double faulting a few too many times. Roddick struggled with DFs early as well. Muller did fine coming into the net and volleying but from the baseline he was cold, while Roddick made a few too many errant shots early. His game tidied up later and Muller could not do much to stop him. The final result is that both Muller and Roddick will head into the Olympics with positive momentum.
In the doubles final, Matt Ebden repeated as doubles champion in Hotlanta, this time with his friend Ryan Harrison. The young guns had their day defeating veterans Xaiver Malisse and Michael Russell 6-3, 3-6, 10-6. They played seamlessly all week and this was just a culmination of their fine play together. On a side note, Matt and Ryan stuck around to hit balls with the ball kids after the final trophy presentation. It was a nice gesture from two approachable guys who represent the game well. Other players I will give credit to for being very kind to fans and sportsmanlike to their opponents are Igor Kunitsyn, Brian Baker, Xaiver Malisse, Michael Russell, Go Soeda, Ruben Bemelmans, Ricaradas Berankis, finalist Gilles Muller, Santiago Gonzalez/Scott Lipsky, and the Flemchins.
It was a great week of tennis in Atlanta and a highly enjoyable tournament. A multitude of matches went the distance and there were plenty of tense and thrilling battles in both doubles and singles, including some very late night matches. The tournament was top-notch from start to finish and Atlantic Station proved to be an excellent venue. Atlantic Station has at least another two years hosting the BB&T Atlanta Open under contract. Here’s to next year!
Roddick wins a thriller against Isner, will face Gilles Muller in final
Andy Roddick won a thrilling victory against strong serving John Isner 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. Roddick took the first set after breaking Isner coming out of a short rain delay and serving it out the rest of the way. In the second set, Isner was firing on all cylinders with his serve and painted the lines the entire time, finally winning the tiebreak after going up a minibreak.
Early in the third, things continued as they had in the previous set with both guys using their serve to hold and Isner doing some damage on his forehand, while Roddick played plenty of slice backhands. The end of the match became incredibly intense with an electric crowd, which had urged both players on the whole match becoming even more vocal.
Roddick worked his tail off, hitting nice passers and good returns to earn three break points at 4-4 in the third, but a foot fault call on Isner derailed one of his chances to break, causing him to throw his racquet from the baseline into the net and complain to the chair. While Roddick was seriously frustrated, he was able to hold serve at 5-4, forcing Isner to serve to keep the match alive again. This time, he couldn’t do it and a couple of errors later, it was Roddick who would advance to win bragging rights over his higher ranked countryman and a spot in the final. Isner had his chances, but he just could not do enough to break Roddick and had too many errant groundstrokes. Roddick was tenacious tonight.
Gilles Muller also booked his spot in the Atlanta final with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Go Soeda. Muller served strong and got the two breaks of serve he needed to defeat Soeda, who, like Isner, couldn’t do much with his opponents serve. Muller has reached his first ATP final in seven years. While he will be an underdog against Roddick, if he keeps serving well and playing sharp at the net, he will have a genuine chance.
In doubles, the Flemchins were upset by Harrison/Ebden, who won 6-4, 6-4, and will face Malisse and Russell in the final.
Muller, Roddick reach Semis, Soeda upsets Nishikori
Gilles Muller wasted no time earning a spot in the semifinals, earning a 6-4, 6-4 win over Matt Ebden. It was all about the serve in this match. There were only 2 breaks of serve the whole match, both going to Muller and Ebden couldn’t find a way to get a break himself.
Muller will face Go Soeda, who upset his countryman, Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-1. Soeda played better than Nishikori, the higher ranked player, and Kei was really wilting in the heat by the start of the 2nd set. Nishikori was taking plenty of time to towel off and walk slowly around the baseline. Go’s win gives him bragging rights going into the Olympics where they will be doubles partners for Japan.
Andy Roddick didn’t have too hard of a time against fellow American Michael Russell. Like Muller, he got the two breaks he needed and took the match 6-3, 6-4. Both guys held serve with ease and played some great shots at the net. Russell came forward a lot, but he couldn’t handle Roddick’s serve.
John Isner beat Jack Sock in the late match 7-6, 6-4. Isner was up early but struggled at the end of the 1st set in a match that was delayed by thunderstorms. Sock had a ton of set points, but could not convert and while Isner was still shaky, he got a break in the second and served it out.
Today’s semi final match ups will be Muller against Soeda and Roddick against Isner. In doubles semis, Malisse/Russell will take on Klaasen/Young and Fleming/Hutchins will take on Ebden/Harrison. Klaasen/Young won a great match over Ebelthite/Matosevic and Ebden/Harrison won a tough match against Anderson/De Voest.
ATP Atlanta Quarterfinals Preview
The quarterfinals will be played today at the BB&T Atlanta Open and they are quite interesting for the battle of nationalities, if nothing else. The top 2 Japanese players, Kei Nishikori and Go Soeda will play against each other with both earning hard fought three set wins this week.
There will be two all-American quarterfinals here, the first between Andy Roddick and underdog Michael Russell, who has been a refreshing surprise here, and the second between top American John Isner and rising American Jack Sock. Isner struggled last night while Sock has earned a couple of nice wins. The other singles quarterfinal will be between the tall Matt Ebden, and the taller Gilles Muller, who also happen to be a couple of the nicest players here.
In doubles quarterfinals action, best buds Ebden/Harrison will take on South African tandem De Voest/Anderson. Both doubles teams earned strong wins yesterday and Ebden will try to pull double duty again. In addition, Aussies Ebelthite/Matosevic will take on Klaasen and Young, who looked strong yesterday. The Flemchins get a walkover over Muller/Bogomolov as Alex Bogomolov was forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury. Malisse and Russell earned their quarterfinal berth yesterday.
Isner survives Bemelmans, Fish retires, Ebden and Sock advances
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
John Isner started off ice-cold against a tenacious Ruben Bemelmans, dropping the 1st set 6-4 and having more than his fair share of shank and junk hits, long, into the net, and even out of the stadium. He recovered and managed to eke out a win, taking the 2nd set 6-3 and the 3rd set, which was delayed over 20 minutes because the far right light went out on stadium court, 6-4. Isner served acceptably, as Bemelmans was still adjusting to his pace but had to adjust his strategy to compensate for Bemelmans slicing and dicing style of play. In the end, Bemelmans went for too much and couldn’t pull it out. He plays hard though and is also a very positive guy. He even did the wave with the crowd as the light was being fixed.
Mardy Fish wasn’t nearly as lucky against Gilles Muller. An unfortunate run-in with the netpost meant that he was forced to retire up 6-4, 3-2 on Muller and he was actually playing well. Fish went hard for a drop shot near the edge of the net, and in order to avoid impaling himself on the netpost, he slid and rolled his ankle badly in the process, putting him on his back for about three minutes. He was then bent over and limping for the remaining 4 or so points he played before finally having to retire. He was later seen in a lot of pain after the match.
James Blake was good early against Matt Ebden, but felt pain again, and Ebden would advance 6-7, 6-4, 6-4. It was a tight match all the way through, with Ebden struggling with his unforced errors but serving well. Blake was playing great tennis at the net but it appeared that his shoulder began to bother him again in the 2nd and 3rd set. While he was able to finish the match after multiple medical timeouts, he was visibly grimacing on court and exited holding his shoulder.
Jack Sock played some thrilling points against fellow American young gun Steve Johnson, winning his match in 2 tiebreaks 7-6, 7-6. The very audible Sock did plenty of shouting, fist pumping and other such emotional actions throughout a match that featured a lot of lobbing, drop shotting and rallying. This will be his first ATP quarterfinal.
In doubles action, all but the top seed of Fleming and Hutchins (who survived being a break down in the 1st set against Nicolas Mahut and Lukas Dlouhy winning 7-6, 6-2) were eliminated in a day of upsets. 2 seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky fell to Raven Klaasen and Donald Young 6-2, 7-6, unable to chip into their advantage. 3 seeds Treat Huey and Dominic Inglot lost to best buds Ebden and Harrison 6-3, 7-5 and 4 seeds Ken Skupski and Jamie Delgado lost to vets Malisse and Russell (X-Man and Muscles) 7-6, 6-4 with both Malisse and Russell (who is in the quarterfinals in singles here) serving great. Kevin Anderson and Rik De Voest beat Paolo Lorenzi and Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-7, 10-6 and Colin Ebelthite and Marinko Matosevic beat the UGA/GA Tech combo of Ignacio Taboada and Kevin King 7-5, 7-5 in late action.
On one other note, there was a US Olympic tennis team “send off” on stadium court before the Isner/Bemelmans match, featuring former Olympic star and professional boxer Evander Holyfield and tournament director Bob Bryant along with a men’s choir performing the national anthem. While Olympians Isner, Young and Harrison were in attendance, Andy Roddick decided to skip.
Russell Upsets Anderson, Nishikori Survives a Test
Last night’s play was delayed about three hours by rain and it was another late night in Atlanta.
Michael Russell upset a rather shaky Kevin Anderson 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, fighting back against Anderson’s strong serve and winning his own service games to reach the quarterfinals. It is a great result for Russell and disappointing for Anderson, who was never really on top of his game here.
Andy Roddick won the battle of the serves against Nicolas Mahut 7-6, 6-3. Both guys were thumping aces, but Roddick got the breaks when he needed them and was the better player last night.
Go Soeda dispatched Igor Kunitsyn 6-1, 7-5, controlling most of the match. Kei Nishikori faced a test, as I expected, against Ricardas Berankis, a player of similar style. Nishikori was the better road runner though, and in an epic that finished at 1:44 a.m., he outlasted Berankis 6-4, 6-7, 6-4. Berankis had plenty of chances: up 3-0 in the 1st set, saved 3 match points at 5-6 in the 2nd set, took the tiebreak on pins and needles and then had a shot in the 3rd. Nishikori finally closed the door.
Day 6 Preview
Day 6 at the BB&T Open is going to be chock full o’ action. The start time was moved from 4 p.m. to 1 p.m. to accommodate It all. First up on stadium: James Blake will seek to continue his run against Matt Ebden. Both earned tough three set wins in their opening matches.
Mardy Fish will start off his play here in Atlanta against Gilles Muller, who earned a routine 1st round win and Steve Johnson will play fellow American Jack Sock in a battle of the young guns. The last singles match of the day will be local favorite John Isner against qualifier Ruben Bemelmans, who could give Isner a test judging by his recent play.
The doubles action will finally kick in as well, with top seeds Fleming/Hutchins against Dlouhy/Mahut, 2 seed Gonzalez/Lipsky against Raven Klaasen/Donald Young, 3 seed Huey/Inglot against best buds Ebden/Harrison and vets Russell/Malisse against 4 seed Delgado/Skupski. Lorenzi/Ram will also play the South African tandem of Anderson/DeVoest.
ATP Atlanta Day 5 Preview
Round 2 kicks off in Atlanta with 4 seed Andy Roddick and 3 seed Kei Nishikori in action tonight.
Before that, Michael Russell will look for an upset against 5 seed Kevin Anderson. Anderson and Russell both had effective 1st round wins, but could certainly improve on their play. Igor Kunitsyn will seek to continue his momentum against Go Soeda. Both guys won tough 3 set matches against favored opponents and are good ball strikers who will be fighting for a quarterfinals appearance.
Roddick will start his play in Atlanta against Nicolas Mahut. Mahut fought for a 3 set win in the 1st round, and it will be interesting if he can give Roddick a hard match.
Kei Nishikori takes on qualifier Ricardas Berankis. Berankis has been sharp and both guys play a similar, road runner kind of style. While Nishikori is the favorite, Berankis is playing well enough to make this a tight match.
Soeda, Ebden, Russell and Blake fight back for wins (Atlanta Day 4 Recap)
–Steen Kirby, TenniseastCoast.com
Day 4 Atlanta action was a night of comebacks as Go Soeda, Matt Ebden, Michael Russell and James Blake all came from a set down to win their matches.
8th seeded Soeda played a hard-fought match with Xaiver Malisse, and Malisse was looking strong in the 1st set. He wasn’t struggling in a single service game and hit some nifty winners and breaking at the end to take it 6-4. Soeda fought back and Malisse got distracted, losing the 2nd 5-7 to Soeda. In the 3rd, Malisse basically self destructed, losing his confidence and the match 6-4 in the final set. Malisse started off the fan favorite but over time, as he got more mopey, the crowd switched its support to Soeda, who got a standing ovation as he walked off the court a winner. This match was delayed for a couple of hours due to rain, although they played the first 4 games (to 2 all) before the rains came. Neither guy faced a ton of break point chances.
Fan favorite, Michael “Muscles” Russell, came back after dropping the 1st set 6-2 to Alex Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov was looking strong but Russell, the still spry veteran, kept grinding away and seemed to wear the qualifier Kuznetsov out. He took the 2nd set 6-4 and lead the entire 3rd set, finally taking it in a deciding tiebreak 7-6. Russell served out the 3rd set, almost at love every game while Kuznetsov kept having to fend off break points and could hold on no longer.
Matt Ebden dropped the 1st set to qualifier Sergei Bubka 7-5 on the outer court, but Bubka fell apart and Ebden took finished the match off 6-1 6-1. Ebden played a ton of defensive slice balls, even though both guys are heavy ball strikers and big servers, and it seemed to work as he frustrated Bubka, who ended up ridiculing himself after a while. There were a lot more breaks of serve than expected though, and Bubka had to serve for the 1st set twice and Ebden was broken twice.
And in the most surprising match of the night, veteran James Blake dropped the 1st set 6-1 to Ryan Harrison, the 5 seed, but proceeded to fight back and take the next two sets 6-3 7-5. He broke Harrison at the end of the 3rd and served the match out. It was a big confidence building win for JB, and now Americans Harrison,Young and Baker have fallen in Atlanta.
Ricardas Berankis was one of the 2 qualifiers who advanced to the 2nd round, dispatching Dmitry Tursunov 6-3 6-2. Tursunov struggled from the start and never found his footing, while Berankis kept hustling for his points.
Ruben Bemelmans was the other qualifier who advanced, with a nice win over Rajeev Ram 6-1 6-3. Bemelmans and Ram have both had good recent results, and the match was expected to be closer, but Bemelmans is really coming into his own and could be a threat here going forward on the hard courts.
U.S. PLAYERS HEADLINE NEXT TWO NIGHTS OF ACTION AT BB&T ATLANTA OPEN
Andy Roddick To Play Wednesday Night at 7 p.m. ET; John Isner and Mardy Fish to Play Back-to-Back On Thursday Night
ATLANTA (July 17, 2012) – The top three Americans in the world rankings and three of the top four seeded players at the BB&T Atlanta Open will highlight the next two nights of play at the Atlantic Station venue. Tournament No. 4-seeded Andy Roddick (No. 27 in the ATP world rankings) meets unseeded Nicolas Mahut of France at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night. The two finalists from the last two year’s events – No. 1-seeded John Isner (No. 11 ATP) and No. 2 Mardy Fish (No. 13 ATP) – will play on Thursday night starting at 7 p.m. with a match to follow, although the order of who will play when has yet to be determined.
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, the 29-year-old Roddick met with the media and talked fondly of Atlanta, recalling it was the site of his first ATP-level tournament title when he beat Xavier Malisse in the final on clay back in 2001. Both Roddick and Isner will play singles and doubles for the United States in the upcoming London Olympics. On Thursday night, the four Olympians competing in Atlanta – Isner, Fish, Roddick and Donald Young – and the U.S. Olympic men’s coach Jay Berger will be honored on Stadium Court.