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Tennis

Bryan twins help keep U.S. elite hopes alive

By Associated Press
Published September 25, 2005

LEUVEN, Belgium - The Bryan twins brought the United States within one win of staying in the elite group of Davis Cup. Now it's up to Andy Roddick, or James Blake, to complete the job against Belgium.

Bob and Mike Bryan won Saturday's doubles 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 6-3 over Olivier Rochus and the outmatched Kristof Vliegen, giving the Americans a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series entering reverse singles.

"To win the doubles at 1-1 is huge," U.S. captain Patrick McEnroe said. "It gives (us) a lot of momentum."

Today, Roddick faces 31st-ranked Rochus as he goes for his second singles victory. Rochus will be playing his third match in three days.

"Andy is going to be very motivated to finish it off," McEnroe said. "I feel good about our chances."

If the No. 3-ranked Roddick fails, the series would come down to Blake against Olivier's older brother, Christophe Rochus. The Americans would be relegated from the World Group for the first time in 17 years should they lose both matches.

The United States, which has won 31 Davis Cup titles, is out of contention this year. The field has been narrowed to the semifinals: Argentina at Slovakia, and Russia at Croatia. Slovakia and Croatia won doubles matches Saturday and lead 2-1.

Russia is the only semifinalist to have won the cup.

CHINA OPEN: Maria Sharapova quit because of a chest injury while trailing in the semifinals at Beijing, sending Russia's Maria Kirilenko into the title match against Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Kirilenko, ranked 45th, was ahead 6-4, 2-1 when the match was ended.

SLOVENIA OPEN: Sixth-seeded Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia defeated Eleni Daniilidou of Greece 6-2, 6-2 at Portoroz, putting her into the final against fourth-seeded Klara Koukalova of the Czech Republic, who beat Vanessa Henke of Germany.

SUNFEAST OPEN: Second-seeded Elena Likhovtseva of Russia lost to Karolina Sprem of Croatia 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 at Calcutta, India. Sprem, seeded seventh, plays for the title today against top-seeded Anastasia Myskina of Russia, who defeated Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in straight sets.

[Last modified September 25, 2005, 02:15:40]


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