Bryans To Play For Olympic Gold; Frenchmen Win Marathon Contest
by ATP Staff|
"It is a great feeling to be playing for an Olympic gold medal," said Bob Bryan. "As kids we watched the US Dream team [basketball] win the 1992 Barcelona gold and remember what it meant to [200 and 400 metre runner] Michael Johnson."
Mike Bryan said, "This will top off everything we have ever done if we win gold. But it will be a very difficult match. Tomorrow we will begin to focus and prepare for the match. But we’re definitely in for a sleepless night."
The Bryans lost just three points behind their first serve and broke their opponents once in each set to claim victory in 57 minutes. Benneteau and Gasquet will now have the chance to play for the bronze medal against the losers of the second semi-final.
"We played very good," said Gasquet. "We tried our best but we lost and we are disappointed of course, but we will try and come back tomorrow (for the bronze medal match) and win."
The 34-year-old Bryans are guaranteed to go at least one better than the bronze medal they won at the Beijing Olympics four years ago (d. Clement/Llodra).
In the final, the Bryans will face Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga after the second-seeded French duo overcame Spaniards David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 4-6, 18-16 in a 3hr., 29min., contest. Llodra and Tsonga fired 17 aces and 77 winners, converting four of their 16 break points.
The 32-year-old Llodra has come close to an Olympic medal before, losing out to the Bryans in the Bronze Medal match with Arnaud Clement four years ago in Beijing. Tsonga has also never medalled at an Olympic Games.
"I am delighted as it was a tough match, and I am sure Michael is too," said Tsonga. "Four years ago (at Beijing 2008) it was not to be, but now it is our time."
Added Llodra, "Four years ago I was just two points off a medal so obviously I am delighted I will go home with one this time."
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