Israelis Upset Bryan Bros.
Israeli duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram saved two match points in the match tie-break to upset top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan 4-6, 6-3, 13-11 (Match TB) in Cincinnati to win their first ATP Masters Series title. Erlich and Ram claimed their 10th career title and their first crown of 2007 from four finals.
The Bryans, who have won a career-best eight titles this season, slipped to 8-4 in 2007 finals. They were chasing their eighth ATP Masters Series crown (from 18 Masters Series finals) and 42nd career team title. It was a second tough loss in consecutive weeks for the Bryans, who last week held two match points in the Montreal semifinals before falling to eventual champions Mahesh Bhupathi and Pavel Vizner.
The Bryans broke Erlich in the first game of the match and then Ram to bust open the first set. The Israelis rallied to break Mike Bryan in the eighth game, forcing Bob Bryan to serve out the set at 5-4.
Erlich/Ram broke Bob Bryan in the second game of the second set after inning the deciding point at deuce, but Erlich handed back the break in the next game after double faulting on the deciding point. But Mike Bryan also double faulted on break point in the following game.
In a dramatic match tie-break, Erlich and Ram jumped out to a 5-2 lead but later found themselves down a match point at 8-9 and Mike Bryan's backhand return from an Erlich serve hit the top of the net. The Israelis had their first match point at 10-9 but Mike Bryan responded with two big first serves to give the Americans their second match point. Ram held his nerve, putting in a second serve to Mike Bryan, who put his backhand return into the net.
The Israelis soon after had their second match point at 12-11 and Ram rifled a return off Bob Bryan's second serve at Bob's feet and Erlich picked off the volley to clinch the match.