Rojer/Tecau Reach Final, Dethrone Bryans
Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau ended the reign of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan atop the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, securing the year-end No. 1 with a 6-4, 6-4 win in the semis of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
The Bryans, who have finished as the year-end No. 1 tandem in 10 of the last 12 years, saw their title defence come to an end at the season finale. Rojer and Tecau will square off against eighth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea in Sunday's final, with a Romanian guaranteed to lift the doubles trophy for the first time.
“It feels pretty darn good right about now,” said Rojer. “There was so much riding on this match for us. We put in a lot of hard work, like many of the other teams do, of course. To have it come down to one match to play for the year-end No. 1 spot, it’s just a dream scenario. On top of that, to win it with a lot of our friends and family here, it’s just really cool.”
“We’re very happy to get this award,” said Tecau, a resident of Constanta, Romania. “But we have to snap out of it quick, because we have a difficult match tomorrow. I’m playing against my countryman Florin. We know each other really well. I’m really excited to play the final here against him. It’s a big achievement for our country.”
The Dutch-Romanian duo were unflappable throughout the 66-minute affair, converting on three of six break chances and claiming 81 per cent first serve points.
A Tecau backhand return at Mike's feet earned them the first break for 2-1, in the fourth break point of the game. The Bryans would respond in kind, breaking back for 3-3 as a Mike forehand down-the-line drew an error, but Rojer and Tecau would stay focused. Tecau rifled a return winner and Mike struck a double fault as the Bryans were broken again, a game later.
The second set would yield just one break and Rojer held his nerve serving for the match a game later, despite missing a pair of volleys.
Victory for Rojer and Tecau marked their first win over the Bryans in six encounters. They most recently met in the round robin stage in London last year. The duo will vie for their third title of the year and 11th overall as a team in Sunday's final. They triumphed at Wimbledon and at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Rotterdam in 2015.