21 Feb DELRAY’S DYNAMIC DOUBLES: MARACH AND MARTIN UPSET BRYANS
Six Match Points In Final Gives Fans Money’s Worth
By STEVE DORSEY
Delray Beach, Fla. – Austrian Oliver Marach and Frenchman Fabrice Martin rallied to upset the No. 1-seeded Bryan brothers in an exhilarating doubles final 3-6, 7-6(7), 13-11 on Sunday at the ATP World Tour’s Delray Beach Open.
Bob and Mike Bryan led 9-5 in the third-set tiebreaker, but Marach and Martin fought off four consecutive match points and yet a fifth match point at 11-10 to earn their second ATP World Tour title as a tandem this year. Marach and Martin also faced a match point in the second set but fought off that one, too, and won the tiebreaker to extend the match to the third set.
Marach and Martin also won at Chennai in this year, their first as a doubles team. Their drama-packed win Sunday spoiled the defending champion Bryan brothers’ bid for a fifth title at Delray Beach.
“We gave everything we had today,” Martin said of the victory against the 10-time year-end World No. 1 doubles team. “It was a great match from both sides, and there (were) some lucky points at the end and we got it, so we’re very happy with that. Sometimes it goes against us, but today it went with us. It’s been a good season so far and hopefully we can continue the whole year like this.”
The Bryan brothers have won a record 109 ATP titles together, something that Marach said is an astounding mark.
“This is one thing that (won’t) happen for sure,” Marach said when asked about possibly catching the Bryans’ record. “To catch 109 titles, whew. I have great respect for them. This was the second time I’ve beaten them, and I think they’ve beaten me 14 times. It was a pleasure to play against them today. This is one of the most emotional matches, to be down 5-9. I had a fever (Sunday) morning and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to play. At 5-9 (down), luck was on our side.”
Marach and Martin defeated the No. 3 seed Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi in the semifinals on Saturday, while the Bryans had little problem reaching Sunday’s final.
“It’s unfortunate, especially leading in that third-set breaker. It hurts,” Mike Bryan said of the brothers tandem’s missed chances to close out the match on four consecutive match points in the third set. “I’ll probably have a sleepless night tonight thinking about what we could have done different, but that’s doubles. It’s a fine line, the margins are really thin. We’ll bounce back and be ready for Davis Cup.”