Group Woodbridge/Woodforde got underway today with Bob and Mike Bryan taking on Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. The Americans advanced 7-5, 6-7(3), 10-8 to notch their first win of this year's Nitto ATP World Tour Finals.
Bryans go on late surge to win the first set
The first match of the day got underway comfortably as all four players held serve to begin for 2-2. The match then began to open up as Murray/Soares brought up break point chances with the Brazilian lobbing then tucking away a neat overhead volley. Murray's running forehand could only find the net as they missed their first chance of breaking.
But on their second chance, it was Soares to tuck away the point to grab the point and gain some early advantage, 2-3. Impressively, the Scotsman consolidated the break to love for a 4-2 lead. After making a slow start to the match, the Americans started to open up and raise their levels in the tenth game with Murray/Soares serving for the opener up 4-5.
A simply stunning touch off a pacy Bryan Groundstroke gave Murray setpoint but Soares snatched at an overhead, sending it long as a first set point came and went.The pair would also miss a second set point. And, at sudden-death deuce, the 31-year-old netted a volley to allow the Bryans to break back and level the set at 5-5.
Having turned around the set, Bryans capped off the break by consolidating to love before applying some serious pressure to their opponents. An untimely double-fault by the 35-year-old gave the Bryans a set point. And, at the first attempt, they sealed the set winning 11 of the last 12 points.
Murray/Soares fight back to draw level
With the levels of Murray/Soares dropping, the American twins were sensing their opportunity and held serve to love with ease at the start of the second. A big leftie serve of Murray's got him out of trouble in the very next game to get on board at 1-1. The Bryans were really making their momentum count, punishing Murray/Soares at every opportunity.
However, they did find themselves love-30 behind before excellent play from the Bryans got them the game for 2-1. In the following game, Soares and Murray fund themselves love-30 behind and just as they got themselves out of trouble, the game went to a deciding point and the Bryans broke following it up with a love hold of serve to take a 4-1 lead.
The Scotsman held an important game to stay in touch with the Americans. The crowd began to wake up and this spurred on the fourth seeds who went on to grab three breakpoints at 4-3 with Murray perfectly placing a lob which forced the error. Two of them saved but a drive volley went wide and Murray/Soares broke back. A clinical hold by Soares brought the game level with Mike Bryan kicking one of the lines in frustration.
Bob Bryan in the next game missed a volley which sent the game to a deciding point. But a sharp volley from Mike Bryan got them out of trouble at 5-4. Both teams then held serve which forced a tiebreaker. Having clawed their way back into the match, Murray/Soares took a 1-5 lead in the breaker before picking up four match points. They had one saved but won the next to force a decider.
Bryans come through tough opener
With the match nicely poised heading into the breaker, all eyes were on the Brit Jamie Murray and his partner Bruno Soares. But they quickly found themselves 4-1 down in the breaker. The Bryans continued to cause all sorts of problems to the Brit/Brazilian duo going on to take a 6-3 lead but it was they who were firmly in control, tucking away yet another overhead to take a 7-3 lead.
A couple of sharp volleys kept the fourth seeds in the breaker just about but a few points later, they would find themselves match points down. The Americans missed three match points with the score closer than ever at 9-8. But on the twins serve, they would not be denied and a chest bump followed.