Wimbledon is here! Here’s a quick Doubles Take recap of the last warm-up events and a preview of the most prestigious Slam of them all.
113 AND COUNTING
The next sentence you read will be one of the rarest you’ll ever find in tennis writing: Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan are finally back in the winner’s circle.
The brothers won their 113th career title in Eastbourne over fellow veterans Rohan Bopanna and Andre Sa for their first victory in over a year. Since their tournament-winning start in 2001, they’d never gone this late in a season without bringing home the hardware.
The Americans picked a perfect time to snap the slump with Wimbledon starting now.
THE TEAM IS NEW, WINNING ISN’T
Once again, Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan have won a title: the fifth of their partnership, which just started this year.
They defeated another hot team, Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua, in the Eastbourne final. It’s the second title, too, in as many weeks on the grass.
VETERANS HAVE THEIR DAY
Aisam-ul-Haq Quereshi captured his fourth title of the season (including an ATP Challenger) at the Antalya Open in Turkey, partnering with Robert Lindstedt.
The longtime doubles stalwarts won when their opponents Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic had to retire down 7-5, 4-1.
A LOOK AHEAD: WIMBLEDON
The third Grand Slam of the season is here, with a chance to see history being made on the women’s side.
The top seeds are Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova, who will be going for “The Bucie Slam.” Winners of the last three majors dating back to last year’s US Open, both players will be trying to make their first Wimbledon doubles final. They’ve been dancing through the Slams for months now.
Interestingly enough, they didn’t play any grass-court tune-ups together this year. However, their Slam-winning pedigree should be able to carry them through the first few rounds without incident. The highest seeds in their quarter are veterans Katarina Srebotnik and Abigail Spears, but they could face a stern challenge from the fourth-seeded team of Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova or even Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova.
The bottom half of the draw might be the tougher one, though. Along with the second seeds, Olympic champions Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, there's also Chan and Hingis in the No. 3 spot. Four-time major finalists Barty and Dellacqua are down there, too. The Aussies do have a potentially tricky opener against Jelena Jankovic and CoCo Vandeweghe.
On the men’s side, Henri Kontinen and John Peers are the top seeds, while Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, the defending champions, are the second seeds. Recent French Open champions Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus are seeded tenth and landed in the top quarter.
Herbert and Mahut could be tested right off the bat as they face French Open finalists Santiago Gonzalez and Donald Young.
That’s only part of the story in regard to the depth of the draw. There are multiple past Wimbledon champions lurking, such as the Bryan brothers and Horia Tecau and Jean-Julien Rojer. Aside from those teams, here are the players who have won the title in the past, but are competing with different partners this year:
- Daniel Nestor
- Nenad Zimonjic
- Vasek Pospisil
- Philipp Petzschner
- Leander Paes
The teams to beat this time around, though, are the ones who were equally dominant through the grass-court season: Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo, and Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. Both of those pairings won two tournaments leading up to Wimbledon.
They’re on opposite sides of the draw here. Melo and Murray are past Wimbledon finalists, and will look to rely on that experience as they try to establish their teams as kings of the grass in 2017.
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