Double the excitement, as dashing duos shine

Fri Nov 14, 2014 4:13pm EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Billed as an aperitif before the main course served up by the likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, the unsung doubles players have provided the real excitement at this week's ATP World Tour Finals.

World number one Djokovic and Federer have barely broken sweat to reach the semi-finals of the year-ending tournament - the former dropping nine games in three round-robin matches and his great Swiss rival offering up a mere 13.

Ten of the first 11 singles matches in the round-robin stage failed to go the distance, with all kinds of reasons being put forward for the one-sided nature of the match-ups, from the slow court surface to fatigue.

Yet the world's eight best doubles teams have had crowds on the edge of their seats with some fast and furious action.

That was the case again on Friday when American world number one pairing Bob and Mike Bryan, true stars of the discipline after claiming 16 grand slam titles together, reached the semi-finals, celebrating a high-energy 7-6 (3) 7-6 (2) victory over Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares with their trademark "chest bump".

"This is one of the best courts in the world and it's where we want to play," Bob told Reuters. "Going out there playing in front of a packed house gets the adrenaline flowing, gives us goose bumps every time."

Half of the doubles matches so far have gone to sudden death match tiebreaks (the first pair to 10 points) and Bob says they are happy they are giving the London public value for money.

"The singles matches have been finished in like 50 minutes...that's too quick for a hot ticket that's expensive. The doubles matches add to the show.   Continued...

Sep 7, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Bob Bryan (USA) (right)  and Mike Bryan (USA) after beating Marcel Granollers (ESP) and Marc Lopez (ESP) in the men's doubles final of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports