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Gulbis, Bryan Brothers Win Titles at ATP Delray Beach

February 28, 2010 06:00 PM
 

 The Bryan brothers

Latvian 21-year-old Ernests Gulbis and the No. 1-ranked doubles pair the Bryan brothers captured titles on Sunday at the ATP Delray Beach International Tennis Championships in Delray Beach, Fla.

For the Bryan brothers it was their 58th career doubles title, passing the legendary pair of John McEnroe and Peter Fleming as the winningest American team in the Open Era. The twins recorded a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over first-time finalists Philipp Marx and Igor Zelenay, leaving them three titles short of the all-time record held by the "Woodies," Aussies Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

"Everyone's talking about [the all-time record] and we're even thinking about it now," said Bob Bryan. "We were in this final and we saw on paper that it was a pretty good match-up for us."

Gulbis did not have his serve broken Sunday, breaking 6-foot-10 opponent Ivo Karlovic four times en route to a 6-2, 6-3 win.

"I knew what I had to do against him," Gulbis said."I didn't go back when he was serving first serves; I tried to step in and take the ball early. And if I could do it, he didn't have any time to hit the next shot...I was returning perfectly."

Karlovic came up short again in an effort to win his first title since 2008.

"He was returning really well, but it was windy and I didn't feel really comfortable at all on the court today," said Karlovic, who beat defending champion Mardy Fish in the semifinals. "It was different because yesterday it was night and cold. Today it was warm and windy, and I don't know. I just didn't play good."

Next stop for the Bryan brothers is Belgrade, Serbia, where they will join John Isner and Sam Querrey in representing the U.S. against Novak Djokovic and Serbia in Davis Cup play.

Earlier in the week John McEnroe and Patrick Rafter stole the show with an epic final in their first meeting ever on the ATP Champions Tour, with the Champions event played alongside the ATP event. In the final the 51-year-old McEnroe was edged by the 37-year-old Rafter 7-6(4), 7-6(1) after each had successfully navigated the eight-man field to reach the final.

"It was great," said McEnroe after the match. "I think we showed the young guns how to use a little variety. They hit the ball so hard, but maybe they'll see that it pays to have a little more variety. It was a lot of fun playing Pat except I would have liked it if the scores were reversed."

Prior to the beginning of the Delray Beach ATP Champions Tour event, McEnroe and Haiti's Ronald Agenor played an exhibition in the street on the main strip in Delray Beach, with patrons lining the street five deep to watch.

USTA Florida had a major presence at the nine day event as the ITC hosted the USTA JR. TEAM TENNIS SUPER INVITATIONAL, USTA MEMBER APPRECIATION RECEPTION and a QUICKSTART TENNIS event at the annual KIDZ Day on Saturday, Feb. 27. As always the partnership with ITC and USTA included an on-site booth to promote the USTA and its benefits, and ITC offered special discount tickets for USTA members. For final results of the tournament and post-event photos visit www.yellowtennisball.com.
 

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