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Redemption In Delray: The Bryans Hoist Their First ITC Trophy

img_9139After a disappointing lost in the 2008 doubles final at the International Tennis Championships, world number one and top seed, Mike and Bob Bryan, bounced back this year by defeating the second seed, Brazilians Marcelo Melo and Andre Sa in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.

The Brazilians began well which troubled the Bryans as they produced a flurry of unforced errors. In the third game, Melo and Sa had triple break point. However, with clutch serving and by holding his composure after an ace was taken off the board due to a foot fault, Mike Bryan came out unscathed to equalize things at 2-2. The set’s next crucial moment came with Sa serving. After the Brazilians lead 40-15, the Bryans broke for a 4-3 advantage. With Mike serving, a crosscourt return by Sa hit Melo in the vicinity of the right eye, a frightening episode causing a temporary halt in the action. Fortunately, Marcelo recovered. After Mike Bryan consolidated the break, Melo closed out his service game with an ace for 4-5. Regardless, with a backhand volley winner by Mike and with two good serves by Bob, the Bryans captured the first set.

In the second set, the Bryans had the opportunity for the early lead. With a forehand return winner, they arrived at a deciding point. But, Melo salvaged the game with a great serve. Bob Bryan continued his strong serving, sealing his game with an ace for 1 all. Each team had a fairly unadventurous time holding serve until the seventh game. After leading 40-15, Melo missed an easy forehand volley, then, Sa volleyed up for 40-40 which meant in essence a break point. Fortunately, Melo’s forehand volley just caught the line which saved the game for 4-3. Thereafter, the Bryans had no trouble on their own service game and pressured the Brazilians. With Melo serving, Mike placed a sensational lob resulting in an unforced error by Melo. Then, Sa mishit a forehand volley to hand the Bryans triple break point. With a forehand winner, the Bryans went up 5-4. With sure handed Bob serving, the Bryans put away a backhand volley up the line, forced three service return errors to secure the match.

For the Bryans, it was a rocky road to the finals. They survived a match point in the quarterfinals against Americans Scott Lipsky and David Martin. Moreover, yesterday in the semifinals against Eric Butorac and Bruno Soares, the Bryans had to regroup after dropping the first set 1-6 to win it in the super tiebreak 12-10. While this may be the Bryans first ITC title, it‘s their third trophy of 2009.

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