History beckons for Bryan twins in Australian double final
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 26, 2017 04:22 PM
FILE- In this March, 2016 file photo, Bob Bryan, left, and his brother Mike of the United States celebrate after defeating Australia's Lleyton Hewitt and John Peers in their Davis Cup doubles match in Melbourne, Australia. Bob and Mike Bryan announced Sunday, January, 22, 2017, that they are retiring from playing Davis Cup for the United States after 14 years with the team. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill,File)
BRUCE MATTHEWS, Associated Press
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — History beckons for Bob and Mike Bryan in the Australian Open men's double final on Saturday.Record book notations are one of the few motivations left for the American twins as they attempt to equal John Newcombe's 17 Grand Slam doubles titles.
The Bryans earned a shot at a seventh Australian doubles crown with a 7-6 (1), 6-3 win on Thursday against Spanish pair Pablo Carreno Busta and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in a rain-interrupted semifinal.
In the final, they'll meet Australian John Peers and Finland's Henri Kontinen, who combined to beat local wild-card entries Marc Polmans and Andrew Whittington 6-4, 6-4.
The 38-year-old Bryans are tied with Australians Todd Woodbridge and Roy Emerson on 16 major doubles titles and victory would earn them a seventh Australian crown.
"Todd is one of our idols, we really looked up to him," Mike Bryan said. "We're really happy to be tied with him, but to be able to go one step further would be an amazing achievement.
"We're fresh coming off the off-season and hungry. If you see our careers as a book, this is one of the final chapters. We can see the finishing line."
Bob Bryan added: "When you see the finishing line, you can run harder. Right now, we're sprinting."
Peers, who grew up in Melbourne, and Kontinen are seeking their first Australian doubles title. The pair has continued the form that won them the doubles title at the ATP Finals in London last November.
In the women's doubles final Friday, second-seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova will play 12th-seeded Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai.
All players have won at least two Grand Slam doubles titles, and Mattek-Sands is the women's top-ranked doubles player.
It's the fourth major doubles final for Mattek-Sands and Safarova who won the first tournament they contested as a team at the 2015 Australian Open. They also won the 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open.
Hlavackova and Peng, yet to win a Grand Slam title together, haven't dropped a set on the way to the final.