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Archive for Sunday, April 13, 2008

France cuts U.S. Davis Cup edge

Bryan brothers drop doubles match, but U.S. leads, 2-1

Bob Bryan, left, reaches for a return as doubles partner Mike Bryan looks on. The U.S. doubles team fell to France in Davis Cup play Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Bob Bryan, left, reaches for a return as doubles partner Mike Bryan looks on. The U.S. doubles team fell to France in Davis Cup play Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.

April 13, 2008

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— Bob and Mike Bryan failed to win their doubles match Saturday, forcing the United States to wait another day before it can try to close its Davis Cup quarterfinal against France.

Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement rallied past the top-ranked twins, 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-3, 6-4, to cut the Americans' lead to 2-1 in the best-of-five competition.

The Bryans had been 14-1 in Davis Cup play and 5-0 in clinching situations, but they couldn't secure a spot for the U.S. in the semifinals against Spain. Llodra and Clement raised their record to 4-2 against the Bryans, keeping the French alive for today's reverse singles.

A day after Andy Roddick and James Blake put the U.S. in command with singles victories, the Bryans wasted a chance to pass John McEnroe and Peter Fleming as the winningest U.S. Davis Cup doubles team.

Today, Roddick will open against Paul-Henri Mathieu or perhaps Richard Gasquet if he's recovered from a blister on his right hand. Blake plays the final match, tentatively against Llodra.

In the other Davis Cup quarterfinals, Spain swept Germany 3-0; Argentina leads Sweden 2-1 and Russia is in front of the Czech Republic 2-1.

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