GIJON, SPAIN: The Bryan brothers go into every Davis Cup by BNP Paribas doubles match anticipated to win, as their 20-2 winning record indicates. On Saturday, against Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in the World Group semifinal in Gijon, Bob and Mike remained as reliable as ever with a 63 36 75 75 win.
“They’re pretty good in the clutch and they get us to Sunday when we’re in this position all the time,” American captain Jim Courier said. “We’ve got a chance.”
The match was not a walk in the park for the Bryans but they got the job done and put USA on the scoreboard, although Spain still leads the tie 2-1 after taking the first two singles points on Friday. Besides for playing the tenacious Spaniards, the Bryans were up against a very enthusiastic and vocal near-capacity crowd of 15,000.
“It’s never easy to play in these conditions as the crowd is loud,” Mike Bryan said. “Granollers might have hurt his calf there and we backed off the gas there a little bit. You always want to play aggressive in those situations but I’m proud of the way we picked it up at the end and played some good tennis.”
On their first match point on Lopez’s serve in the 12th game of the fourth set, Mike Bryan rushed to the net to recover a drop shot and took a spill. After toweling off they went back on the court and two points later, when Lopez double-faulted, the match was over.
Lopez came into this tie questionable from an injury and Granollers was clearly having a left calf problem during the match. At one point in the second set there was a thought that Granollers might be forced to walk away from the rubber, but he stuck it out. While he was unable to get up for his serve, his power forehand seemed to be working just fine.
“At times we thought he was going to quit,” said Bob Bryan after the 3 hour 38 minute match. “But he kept getting the balls, kept hitting the serves, and they played well when they needed to. I’m proud we stayed the course the whole way.”
The victory marked the third time that the Bryans have beaten the team of Granollers and Lopez, with all three of their matches have taking place this year at Monte Carlo and the Canadian Open.
Still alive for the reverse singles matches on Sunday, Team USA will have their work cut out for them when No. 10 John Isner takes on No. 5 David Ferrer.If Isner can come through that match unscathed – a big if as he went a long five sets against Nicolas Almagro on Friday – No. 26 Sam Querrey will take on No. 12 Almagro in the fifth and final rubber of this tie.
“Tomorrow, obviously, is a little bit different with one versus one and two versus two,” Courier said. “Ferrer is such a warrior and a great competitor and John’s going to have to play better than he did yesterday to stand a chance. He’s a little bit more physically taxed than David is for sure.
“Sam I think will have a chance. If it gets to a fifth match a lot of the pressure actually shifts in the other direction. Momentum is important and it shifts quickly in Davis Cup.”
Follow this tie as it happens: Live scores or Watch Live
Captain Jim Courier (USA) - 15/09/2012
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan (USA) - 15/09/2012
Captain Alex Corretja (ESP) - 15/09/2012
Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez (ESP) - 15/09/2012