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French team beats Americans again

By wire services
Published June 4, 2004

PARIS - Defending French Open doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan lost in the semifinals Thursday to French duo Fabrice Santoro and Michael Llodra 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

The French pair also beat the top-ranked American twins in the Australian Open final for a second straight title there.

"We still feel like the No. 1 team in the world, even though we've lost these last two matches," Bob Bryan said. "It's a tough defeat."

The French started off strong, with support from a partisan center court crowd.

"I think the crowd helped them," Bob Bryan said. "If we were playing them at the U.S. Open, they probably would have got down on themselves a little more."

Santoro drew rowdy cheers for several overhead smashes, including on the final point.

"We're looking forward to playing them again, that's for sure," Bob Bryan said.

ARGENTINE PRIDE: Times are hard back home, and Paola Suarez hopes that Argentina's success at Roland Garros will make up in some small way for economic hardships.

Suarez's bid for her first Grand Slam singles title ended in the semifinals, but the men's semifinals today will include three Argentines - the country's best showing at a major.

"I hope that all the people in Argentina will be able to also enjoy these victories that we are giving to Argentina - me and the boys as well - and we'll be able to make up for other shortcomings," Suarez said after losing to Elena Dementieva.

Suarez was nervous and error-prone playing in her first major singles semifinal (she's played in the past eight Grand Slam doubles championship matches). She had 39 unforced errors against Dementieva, including eight double faults.

"I don't think I should be upset by what happened," the 27-year-old Argentine said. "Many dreams have come true. I think that soon I'll get over my anger."

Argentina has not had a men's finalist at the French Open since Guillermo Vilas in 1982. The country is guaranteed at least one player in Sunday's men's final: No. 8-seeded David Nalbandian plays unseeded Gaston Gaudio in one semifinal. The other Argentine left, No. 3 Guillermo Coria, faces No. 9 Tim Henman of Britain.

HINGIS' THOUGHTS: Martina Hingis isn't ready for a comeback, although she daydreams about it on occasion.

"I wish sometimes I could still play. That's human, I think," she said after watching the women's semifinals. "But I know I wouldn't last. Not right now."

Hingis, who won five Grand Slam singles titles, retired at 22 in 2002 after operations on both ankles.

"If you're out for a while, it's hard to come back," Hingis said.

She wouldn't make a prediction for who will win the title match between Dementieva and Anastasia Myskina, saying: "You've got two players who deserve to play in the final."

[Last modified June 3, 2004, 23:59:12]


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