January 25, 2006
Bryans Poised to Give Title Chase in Melbourne
Top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan put together a solid third set Wednesday afternoon, dismantling towering Croat Ivo Karlovic and partner Jan Hernych to advance to the final four at the Australian Open.
After the American twins went up a break to take the first set of their quarterfinal meeting, Karlovic and Hernych - the last unseeded team still standing in the top half of the doubles draw - gave chase. They rallied to level the tie, causing the Bryans to drop their first set in Melbourne by hitting six aces and 13 winners in the second set.
The Bryans responded by giving the Croatian-Czech duo little room in the deciding set. The duo jumped out to a 5-0 lead before finally settling the score at 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.
The Americans, who notched easy victories over Romanian duo Victor Hanescu and Andrei Pavel and 14th seeded duo Jordan Kerr and Travis Parrott this week, will be appearing in the semifinals for the third consecutive year.
Karlovic and Hernych were playing in just their third tournament and their first Grand Slam event together, and began their quarterfinal run by surprising the ninth seeded Aussie duo of Wayne Arthurs and Stephen Huss.
The Bryans' semifinal opponents will be Melbourne native Paul Hanley and Zimbabwean Kevin Ullyett, the No. 4 seeds, who knocked out the eighth-seeded duo of Swede Simon Aspelin and Aussie Todd Perry.
Hanley and Ullyett ran out 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victors in one hour and 54 minutes, converting four of their six break points, with five aces and 15 winners.
Hanley, who joined forces with reigning Aussie Open doubles champion Ullyett this year, had never advanced past the second round in his previous seven appearances.