By: Ben Raby (www.twitter.com/benraby31)
A loaded men’s doubles draw has been among the main attractions at the reimagined Citi Open throughout the week with several talented pairings and intriguing matchups. That field, arguably the strongest in recent memory, is down to the Final Four.
Both men’s semifinals will be played Saturday on the intimate John Harris Court beginning at 1 p.m.
The first semifinal will feature 2014 Citi Open champions Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau against the Australian tandem of Alex de Minaur and 2017 D.C. doubles titlist John Peers.
Rojer earned his 400th career Tour-level win as he and Tecau beat four-time Citi Open champions Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6, 4-6, 10-8 in a tightly contested quarterfinal Friday afternoon. The Bryan brothers were making their 15th Citi Open appearance as a team.
Saturday’s second men’s semifinal will see the No.2-seeded tandem of Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot meet the No.3-seeded team of Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus.
Klaasen and Venus saved a match point against and rallied to beat Andy and Jamie Murray 6-7, 7-6, 10-7 in their quarterfinal match. The Murray brothers partnered this week for the first time since September 2016 and showed themselves in coming within a point of reaching the semifinals.
“I think we've played two good matches,” said Jamie Murray, who earlier this week also earned his 400th career ATP doubles win. “It was obviously disappointing to lose at the end after having match points, being up in both tiebreaks.
“But, yeah, we played a lot of good tennis. I mean, it's good fun to play with Andy again, see him out there competing, fired up to play, and playing really well.”
Andy Murray, who is also progressing towards a return to singles, was also happy that the Citi Open provided him with a rare opportunity to team with his brother. Andy was reminded this week how efficient his older brother can be as partner.
“Jamie's got one of the best net games, doesn't matter singles or doubles, on the tour,” Andy said. “He volleys better than most of the guys that play the game nowadays.
“There's always stuff that I can learn from him because a lot of the things that he does really well on the court would be sort of my weaknesses. I think that's why we play good doubles together, because we normally complement each other's games well.”
Andy Murray is partnering with Feliciano Lopez at the Rogers Cup next week in Montreal.