Bob and Mike Bryan are the first names that come to mind when talking about American men’s doubles tennis – or any doubles tennis for that matter.
But after two days of play at the Western and Southern Financial Series Masters Open in Cincinnati, the twins at the top of the doubles rankings haven’t played a match, and three other American men have made it through to the second round.
American Mardy Fish, playing with his partner from the Bahamas, Mark Knowles, dismissed Phillip Kohlschreiber and Gael Monfils, 6-3, 6-2, Monday.
John Isner and Sam Querrey defeated Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley, 7-6(6), 3-6, 10-7, Sunday to reach the second round where they will play Max Mirnyi and Mahesh Bhupati, the No. 4 seeds.
The Bryan brothers received a bye in the first round, and they won’t know their second-round opponent until Wednesday.
In the singles draw, Andy Roddick defeated 24-year-old Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1, Monday night.
Roddick led 5-3 in the second-set tie break before dropping the next four points and losing the set. But he got out to an early break, got the crowd going and cruised to a 5-0 lead in the third set.
Stakhovsky held to lessen the lead to 5-1, but Roddick finished the match in the next game.
In the crowd watching Roddick in the first round was Terrell Owens, who was signed to the Cincinnati Bengals July 27.
Sam Querrey defeated his first round opponent Philipp Petzschner in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4. In the second round, Querrey will face the Spaniard David Ferrer.
“He’s a typical kind of Spanish clay court guy but plays great on the hard court,” Querrey said. “I beat him one time in Auckland last year, but it was 7-5 in the third. You know, that’ll be a tough one if I play him.”
Ferrer’s first-round wasn’t as easy as Querrey’s. The Spaniard dropped the first set 6-3 to Alexandr Dolgopolov, who was punishing Ferrer with consistent ground strokes. Ferrer battled back and won the last two sets 6-3, 6-4.
Taylor Dent, an American who had to work his way through the qualifying rounds to earn a spot in the main draw, defeated Spaniard and world No. 24 Feliciano Lopez, 6-3, 6-2.
“We’re both big servers,” Dent said. “The bottom line is it comes down to who’s going to put more good returns in play. Today I wasn’t missing many returns, and I was getting a ton of free points on my serve.”
Dent will face No. 1 seeded Rafael Nadal in the second round. Nadal had a bye in the first.
“Best case scenario,” Dent said of his next match. “I go out on the court, and I’m hitting a lot of big second serves in, and taking those first and second balls and really not giving him a chance to set up and hit forehands.
“I feel like I have the tools to do that. I just have to do it consistently and at a very high level.”
Josh Coudret and Bob Gross, a guest sports writer, will be providing on-site coverage of the Western and Southern Financial Masters Open tournament, more commonly known as Cincinnati, Monday, Tuesday and Sunday, when the doubles and singles finals will be played.