22 Feb FINAL FINAL!
Bryans Reach 8th Delray Beach Final
By STEVE DORSEY
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – They might be on their farewell tour, but the Bryan Brothers are not ready to leave Delray Beach just yet.
The American twins, the all-time winningest doubles team in ATP Tour history and the defending champions here, penciled their names into their eighth final at the Delray Beach Open on Saturday afternoon, rallying from a set down to defeat Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Jonny O’Mara of Great Britain 6-7(5), 6-4, 10-4 in the doubles semifinals at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis Center.
It’s the second consecutive match that the 41-year-old twins have been stretched to a match tiebreaker after being awarded a walk-over win in the first round.
“We’ve been playing good breakers all week,” Mike Bryan said. “We got a huge lead and just hung on. . . . The first set was really close. It could have gone either way. They’re a really good team. So we’re happy to be playing great.”
Arevalo and O’Mara were playing in their second consecutive Tour semifinal after reaching the quarterfinals at the Australian Open. They appeared poised to spoil the No. 1-seeded Bryan Brothers’ final tournament here before the Bryans broke serve in the ninth game of the second set and then won eight of the first 11 points in the tiebreaker set.
“We weren’t discouraged,” Bob Bryan said of being down a set. “It was high-level tennis all the way around. A lot of times that (tiebreaker) is a coin flip, and luckily the flip’s gone our way.”
This is the 13th appearance at the Delray Beach Open for the Bryans, who have announced that this will be their final year competing on the ATP Tour.
“We’re going to have fun (Sunday),” Mike Bryan said. “If we can lift a little hardware this year, we’re going to have smiles on our face.”
His brother echoed that sentiment.
“It would really mean a lot to win here,” Bob Bryan said. “We always feel like we get amazing support here. I think we would make some people happy if we could hold the (championship) trophy. It would definitely make ourselves happy. But right now, we’re just going to enjoy this victory. It’s amazing to be playing on a Sunday.”
Shortly after winning their semifinal match Saturday, the Bryans grabbed a post-game meal and conducted media interviews.