Bryan Holds Strong Form; Marach/Pavic Lead The Pack

  • Posted: Jul 21, 2018

Bryan Holds Strong Form; Marach/Pavic Lead The Pack looks back on an exciting second quarter of 2018

At the conclusion of the second quarter of the 2018 ATP World Tour season, there have been plenty of talking points on the doubles court with the top prizes being shared among a variety of teams. But one man, Mike Bryan, started and finished the quarter strong. Partnering brother Bob Bryan, the recently crowned World No. 1 captured the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters title in April before enjoying success, alongside countryman Jack Sock, at Wimbledon in July.

Bryan Continues Success After Brother’s Injury
After clinching their 115th tour-level title as a duo at the Miami Open presented by Itau, the Bryan brothers made a seamless transition onto the European clay. The American twins overcame first-quarter frontrunners Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic to secure the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and looked in top form as they progressed to the Mutua Madrid Open final.

Unfortunately, their winning streak came to an end in the Spanish capital as Bob Bryan was forced to retire from the championship match with a right hip injury. From there, Mike Bryan struggled for form. The 40-year-old won just one tour-level match in his next three events leading into Wimbledon, before finding his best level once again alongside Sock.

From the Round of 16 at The All England Club, the American duo survived three five-set battles in four matches to lift the title in dramatic fashion. Mike’s first Grand Slam victory without his twin brother also confirmed his return to World No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings on 16 July. The 40-year-old American is the oldest No. 1 in doubles history. Despite Bob’s injury, the brothers remain in second position in the ATP Doubles Race to London on 4.355 points.

Marach/Pavic Still Lead the Way
After falling to the Bryans at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, Marach and Pavic suffered back-to-back quarter-final losses in Barcelona and Rome. But the Austrian-Croatian duo rediscovered their form at the right time, capturing their fourth tour-level title of the season at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open before a run to their third Grand Slam final in 11 months at Roland Garros.

Searching for their second Grand Slam trophy of the season, Marach and Pavic were unable to repeat their Australian Open heroics, losing in straight sets to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. Their grass-court campaign started promisingly, with a semi-final run at the Fever-Tree Championships. But, despite leading by two sets in their first-round match at Wimbledon, Marach and Pavic were stunned by Federico Delbonis and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela in five sets. The pairing remain atop the ATP Doubles Race to London with 5,930 points.

Familiar Faces Rise in the ATP Doubles Race to London
Three teams made strong moves up the ATP Doubles Race to London standings throughout the second quarter.

Nikola Mektic and Alexander Peya soared to fourth place after an impressive clay-court stretch. Mektic and Peya captured two titles, in Marrakech and Madrid, from three tour-level finals on the red dirt.

Herbert and Mahut reached fifth position after clinching their third Grand Slam as a duo at Roland Garros. The Frenchmen beat Mektic and Peya in the semi-finals before an upset win over second-seeded Marach and Pavic in the final.

After a consistent European clay season, Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus entered peak form on grass. The Open 13 Provence titlists reached their second and third tour-level finals as a team, falling to Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor at the Libema Open before a five-set loss to Bryan and Sock at Wimbledon.

Brits Join Winners’ Circle
There were seven first-time winners in the second quarter, with four British stars lifting their first tour-level trophies on the doubles court.

Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie combined to win the Millennium Estoril Open and were soon joined by Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara, who emerged victorious at the Nature Valley International.

There were also maiden tour-level doubles crowns for Nick Kyrgios (w/Sock) in Lyon, Tim Puetz (w/Petzschner) in Stuttgart and Marcelo Demoliner (w/Gonzalez) in Antalya. After falling short in his six tour-level doubles final appearances, Demoliner lifted his first ATP World Tour trophy in his seventh championship match.

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