Bryan brothers advance; Williams sisters knocked out of doubles

Danielle Elliot
September 2, 2014

NEW YORK – A very relaxed Serena Williams told the crowd that she never felt nervous during her fourth-round singles match because she kept reminding herself that, even if she lost, she was still in the doubles.

Tomorow, she'll have to come up with a new way to stay calm: Venus and Serena Williams were knocked out of the women's doubles draw in their quarterfinal match on Tuesday afternoon, falling 6-7, 4-6 to Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina. The Williams sisters had more than twice as many unforced errors in the match, playing on what felt like the hottest and most humid day of the summer here.

Makarova and Vesnina are the 4th seed. The Williams sisters were not seeded, and have not won the tournament here since 2009. 

Serena Williams, Makarova and Flavia Pennetta had all advanced to the quarterfinals in the singles and doubles draws. Makarova moves on to the semifinals in doubles and will look to do the same in singles on Wednesday. The 17th seed, she'll face 16-seed Victoria Azarenka in the second match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Pennetta and partner Martina Hingis also advanced to the semifinal, as they won their quarterfinal match 6-4, 6-3 on Tuesday afternoon. Pennetta will face Williams tomorrow night in their singles quarterfinal match.

Sep 1, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Mike Bryan (USA), left, and Bob Bryan (USA), right, celebrate after recording match point against Bradley Klahn (USA) and Tim Smyczek (USA) on day eight of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)
Sep 1, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Mike Bryan (USA), left, and Bob Bryan (USA), right, celebrate after recording match point against Bradley Klahn (USA) and Tim Smyczek (USA) on day eight of the 2014 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

In mens doubles action, the kings of mens doubles have once again advanced. Top-seeded pair Bob and Mike Bryan defeated 7th seed David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco of Spain. The Bryans came out strong, dominating the first set 6-2, but lost their momentum in the second set as they fell 4-6. The crowd helped rally them back, and they converted a break point to win a hard-fought third set and the match, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

"We're really jacked up to win. Towards the end of the match it could've gone either way," Bob Bryan said after the match. "I think you guys made the difference," he added, pointing to the stands. Whatever he said next was impossible to hear over the boisterous applause. 

The win sets up a semifinal meeting with fellow all-American pair Rajeev Ram and Scott Lipsky. This will be the third time in four rounds that the Bryans face two other Americans. They defeated Jared Donaldson and Michael Russell in the first round, then Bradley Klahn and Tim Smyczek to get to the quarterfinals. The brothers are playing here for the 20th consecutive year; they have claimed the title four times.

Earlier Tuesday, Ram and Lipsky defeated American Eric Butorac and South African Raven Klaasen, 6-3, 7-6, in their quarterfinal match. 

This is the first time Ram or Lipsky has advanced beyond the third round of a doubles Grand Slam event. Ram is playing doubles here for the 14th time, while Lipsky, who exclusively plays doubles, is playing for his 8th. They'll face the winner of tonight's match between the Bryan brothers, who are the top seed, and 7th-seeded pair David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco of Spain.