Bryan brothers clinch Davis Cup matchup for US
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) — Americans Bob and Mike Bryan capped a remarkable week with another celebratory chest bump on Saturday.
Six days after winning the U.S. Open for their 100th career tournament title, the world’s top-ranked doubles team rolled to an easy three-set victory that clinched the United States’ Davis Cup meeting against Slovakia.
Controlling the net with their quick hands and short-angled volleys, the Bryans broke serve seven times and routed Norbert Gombos and Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 in just 76 minutes.
“We had our goals, which was to win the US Open and come in here and help the team get to the World Group,” Bob Bryan said. “Just feels it’s all one emotion. We can kind of exhale and kind of enjoy it. Yeah, when we won the Open it was great, but we shifted our focus very quickly to this tie.”
The Bryans’ lopsided victory followed Friday’s straight-set singles wins by John Isner and Sam Querrey for an insurmountable 3-0 lead. It secured a spot for the U.S. in the 2015 World Group, extending a stretch in the top tier that began in 1989.
“It was one of our better Davis Cup performances because I felt we were hitting on all facets of the game,” Mike Bryan said.
“Didn’t really have any difficulty out there,” he added. “Just thought we started hot and just kept it up, kept our energy high.”
Michal Mertinak, the highest-ranked Slovakian doubles player at No. 88, had been scheduled to play with Lacko. But he was replaced by Gombos, who lost the opening singles match to Isner.
Slovakia captain Miloslav Mecir said Mertinak was ill and unable to go.
“He was getting better but he was still struggling,” Mecir said.
Gombos and Lacko are primarily singles players. Gombos is ranked 688th in doubles and Lacko 1,211th.
“It’s tough when you don’t play doubles,” Lacko said. “So you are a little bit lost there, yeah, when you’re playing the best double pair in the world.”
There are still two reverse singles matches to be played Sunday that will have no bearing on the tie. They will be shortened to best-of-three sets and U.S. captain Jim Courier said Isner and Querrey will play.
The Americans have not dropped a set so far in the competition at the Sears Centre, located 30 miles northwest of Chicago. Courier hopes to use the performance as a springboard for 2015.
“You take a win anywhere you can get it. But if you can get nine sets on the trot, obviously that’s a dream scenario for you,” he said. “We played well when we needed to.”