Rod Laver Arena was the subject of late night entertainment as Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah came through Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6(1), 6-4 to reach their first Grand Slam final together in front of a partisan Colombian crowd. They have yet to drop a set at the Australian Open and will now face the seventh seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in Saturday's final.
Colombians take close set in the tiebreak
The Bryans made a solid, comfortable start to the match by holding to love. A breakpoint then went their way at 30-40 with Bob Bryan striking a forehand winner. A terrific serve by Farah did the job as he sent the game to deuce. The pair won the next two points to avoid going behind early, 1-1. The next two service games went with the server as all four players began with a hold of serve with the set locked at 2-2.
For the third straight service games, the Americans held to love as they continuously piled the pressure on the sixth seeds. The pair were taken to 30-all in the next game but won the next two points to stay in touch with the twins at 3-3. With the four players looking sharp on serve, neither team was broken and the scores were still locked at 5-5.
The set started to open up in the 11th game with the Colombians forcing the Bryans to defend which ultimately saw them lose the point and face a breakpoint. Cabal saw a backhand error go just wide of the line as a breakpoint was missed. They would pile more pressure on the 39-year-old twins as a second breakpoint was brought up thanks to a forehand return winner down the line.
The Bryans would save a second and a third before eventually holding to edge out ahead, 5-6. The Colombians held to take the set to a tiebreak. The pair took control early on, gaining an early break at 3-1 with Bob Bryan being foot-faulted on his second serve. They then won the next four high-quality points to take the set.
Cabal/Farah continue high pressure to win the set and advance to the final
The 31-year-old Colombians made a shaky start to the set by missing a couple volleys as the game went to deuce. Farah/Cabal's intensity in the first game had dropped slightly but they held on for 1-0. The Bryans, however, held their serve to love as they restored parity, 1-1. Just like the first set, both teams started to get comfortable on serve, however this time, with less intensity as the first.
Being up a set, the Colombians were looking relaxed and with the crowd on their side, they always looked in control while the Bryans were flying through their game, losing just the two points on serve as they attempted to put any sort of pressure on the 31-year-old Colombians. For one of the first times in the set, the 16-time Grand Slam champions were put to the test.
Down 5-4 in the set, Cabal and Farah took a 30-15 lead but the Americans dealt with the test, winning the next three points impressively as they held an important game for 5-5. Cabal and Farah won the next point to edge out ahead at 6-5 to go within a game of the match, With the Colombian crowd raising their voices, so did the 31-year-olds who sent the game to deuce.
The Bryans then had a game point but Farah and Cabal snuffed it out and earned a match point two points later. Bob Bryan put a forehand into the net as the Colombian crowd went wild inside Rod Laver Arena with Cabal and Farah advancing to the final.