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Bryans Defeat Marrero/Verdasco For 97th Team Title

Houston, U.S.A.

Bryans© Aaron M. Sprecher/ROCCBob and Mike Bryan won their fifth Houston title on Saturday.

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan edged closer to their 100th team title on Saturday, rallying for a 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 victory over David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco in the Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship final.

It was the Bryans’ fifth Houston crown (2007, ‘09-11) and 97th overall. The top-seeded American duo extended their winning streak to 17 straight, claiming their fourth consecutive title after hoisting the trophy in Delray Beach, Indian Wells and Miami.

"It was a match that could have gone either way," said Bob. "It gives us confidence going into the (European) clay-court season, beating such a tough clay-court team. They kept us off balance all day with great serving and huge forehands."

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The Spaniards won the first set after breaking serve in the seventh game, but it was the Bryans who would regain the momentum after Verdasco netted a backhand volley down set point in the second.

A year after squandering a championship point and falling to Jamie Murray and John Peers in a final Match Tie-break, the Bryans were on the brink of enduring the same fate on Saturday. They would dig in their heels after seeing a 9-7 lead slip away in the ensuing Match Tie-break, however, prevailing 11-9 after 81 minutes on court.

"They just made one less error than us,” said Verdasco, who was vying for his seventh doubles crown with Marrero. “It's hard to lose like that, but tennis is like this and you just need to keep going."

Verdasco was seeking to win both singles and doubles titles in a tournament for the first time in his career. He will battle countryman Nicolas Almagro on Sunday.

Bob and Mike improved to 31-7 all-time on the clay of Houston, registering their fifth FedEx ATP Head2Head victory over the reigning Barclays ATP World Tour Finals champions in six meetings. Their lone defeat came in the final of last year’s Final Showdown. They earn $26,100 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points with the title.

"We're ecstatic to leave Houston with another title," said Mike, who leaves River Oaks Country Club with 99 titles, two more than Bob. "We've played great tennis in the past and played another this week. That was just a gritty performance against a tough team."

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