Bopanna & Qureshi lose to Bryan brothers in final

GRITTY EFFORT:Rohan Bopanna (right) and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi's brilliant run came to an end in the final against Bob and Mike Bryan on Friday.

GRITTY EFFORT:Rohan Bopanna (right) and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi's brilliant run came to an end in the final against Bob and Mike Bryan on Friday.   | Photo Credit: STAN HONDA

Impressive Nadal brushes aside Verdasco, takes on Youzhny in semifinals

Pakistan's Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and India's Rohan Bopanna, trying to inspire peace between their homelands, were beaten by US top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan in the US Open men's doubles final.

With United Nations ambassadors Hardeep Singh Puri of India and Abdullah Hussain Haroon of Pakistan sitting together cheering on the “Indo-Pak Express”, Qureshi and Bopanna were beaten by the top-ranked duo 7-6(5), 7-6(4).

The Bryans stretched their record ATP doubles title total to 65 with their third US Open crown and ninth Grand Slam title, two shy of the all-time record set by Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

“This has been the best match we ever played,” Bob Bryan said. “These guys played incredible. We had to step up and match their energy.”

Bopanna and Qureshi had bested the Bryans for the first time last month at Washington in their most recent prior meeting, the only loss the Bryans have suffered in 20 matches since Wimbledon.

Bob Bryan became the first man in 28 years to win men's and mixed doubles crowns in the same US Open after teaming with compatriot Liezel Huber to claim the mixed title on Thursday over Qureshi and Czech Kveta Peschke.

Qureshi, who dedicated his efforts to 21 million flood victims in Pakistan, apologized to his homeland for falling short twice in the finals.

World No.1 Rafael Nadal, seeking his first U.S .Open title to complete a career Grand Slam, advanced to the last four on Thursday by defeating eighth-seeded Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco.

Nadal, who has not lost a set in the tournament, rolled 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 and will play for a final berth on Saturday against Russian 12th seed Mikhail Youzhny, who ousted Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 3-6, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Nadal moved within two wins of a ninth Grand Slam title although his remarkable domination from the service line was finally punctured by Verdasco, who ended his string of winning every service game in the tournament at 62 in the first set.

The defeat dropped Verdasco to 0-11 against Nadal.

“It was a very important victory,” Nadal said. “It's a very nice feeling to be in the semifinals third time in a row in one of the most important tournaments in the world, for me right now probably the most important.”

History beckons

Nadal has never made it to the final, losing to Britain's Andy Murray in 2008 and eventual winner Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina last year.

“For me, the semifinal is amazing but I have to keep playing better if I want to win the final,” Nadal said. “It's a great thing for me, especially without losing a set. I played every day better.”

Nadal seeks his third Major title in a row in 2010 after Wimbledon and the French Open. Only Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rod Laver have won three Slams in a row in the Open era that began in 1968.

“I have to play my best tennis,” Nadal said. “That's the only way I'm going to get to the last round. Nadal could join Federer, Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry as the only men to complete the career Grand Slam, but says his main concern now is Youzhny.

Nadal, 24, has a 7-4 career record against Youzhny, but has won four of their past five meetings, most recently in the fourth round at Wimbledon 2008. The Russian could foil hopes for a Nadal-Federer final at the only Grand Slam where they have never played in the title match.

“I'm ready to be the bad person,” Youzhny said. “I'd love to be the bad person in this case.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi was thwarted in his first attempt to win a U.S. Open title when he and partner Kveta Peschke lost to Liezel Huber and Bob Bryan 6-4, 6-4 in the mixed doubles final.

Special Correspondent adds from Bangalore:

“It was a great tournament for us and we played some great tennis and Bob and Mike proved why they are the best in the world. Hoepfully, we will play much better against them again. I thank the crowd and the people of New York for their support and it was a wonderful week for us here,” said Bopanna, who also thanked his parents who flew in from India to watch the final.

Qureshi too echoed his sentiments and added a political statement. “We Pakistanis are peace-loving people and don't think of us as terrorists.” He regretted that he could not give his sister a birthday present, which she deserved today.

He also thanked the Bryans for making a contribution to flood victims in Pakistan.

Bob Bryan also paid rich compliments to the Indo-Pak team, saying “these guys are going to be around for a long time, knocking at doors of more Slam finals.”

Prefix denotes seeding

Men's singles: Quarterfinals: 12-Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) bt 25-Stanislas Wawrinka (Sui) 3-6, 7-6(7), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3; 1-Rafael Nadal (Esp) bt 8-Fernando Verdasco (Esp) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

Women's doubles: Semifinals: 2-Lizel Huber (USA)-Nadia Petrova (Rus) bt 7-Chan Yung-Jan (Tpe)-Zheng Jie (Chn) 6-3, 6-2.

Mixed doubles: Final: 1-Liezel Huber & Bob Bryan (USA) bt Kveta Peschke (Cze) & Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) 6-4, 6-4 .

Men's Doubles Final: 1-Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan (USA) bt 16-Rohan Bopanna (Ind) & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak) 7-6(5), 7-6(4) .

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 4:16:05 PM |

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