Colombian duo Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah have beaten the World’s most successful doubles duo, Bob and Mike Bryan, to claim a place in the Australian Open men’s doubles final. The Colombians won in two close sets, 7-6 7-5, to set up a final showdown against Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who beat Jan-Lennard Struff and Ben Mclachlan in the other semi-final.
Cabal and Farah’s win caps off a wonderful fortnight for the duo, who beat home crowd favourites Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth in the previous round. Cabal occupies a special place in Colombian tennis history, having been the first Colombian tennis player to win the Australian Open last year, when he won the mixed doubles title alongside Abigail Spears.
The Colombians appear to have struck a chord with one another. Both men are 31 years old, and have been a doubles pairing since 2010. Their win against the Bryan brothers marks their greatest career win to date, and one that will hopefully kick-start their careers as serious Grand Slam contenders. Cabal and Farah stepped up their game when it mattered, saving a sole break point and converting a key break of serve in the second set. They were also more offensive than the Bryan brothers, taking control of rallies with effective net play, which saw them rack up seventeen winners at the net, compared to the Bryans’ eight.
Despite their defeat, the Bryan brothers are still a force to be reckoned with on the doubles circuit, and their name alone demands respect. Both at 39 years old, the veteran duo did incredibly well to make it this far, and their presence on the doubles circuit will draw crowds, no matter what the occasion. They must now ensure that they plan their schedules accordingly, so that they can continue to compete at the highest level.
Their conquerors, Cabal and Farah, will go into Saturday’s final as favourites for the title. Both finalists will have a day off tomorrow, which is key for Pavic and Marach, who had a tough, three-set semi-final today. Nonetheless, the Colombians have the confidence, expertise, and gameplan to beat the Austro-Croatian doubles pairing, in what promises to be an intriguing contest on Saturday.
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