Doubles star Bob Bryan replaces Fish as U.S. Davis Cup captain

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One of many highlights of Bob Bryan’s time as half of a record-breaking men’s doubles duo was helping the United States claim the 2007 Davis Cup – the last time the country won the competition. Now Bryan will try to end that drought from the sideline.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Bryan’s appointment as Davis Cup captain, succeeding Mardy Fish. Bryan’s first matches in charge will come during the group stage in September.

Bryan and his twin brother, Mike, earned a record 16 Grand Slam championships together, 119 tour-level titles and an Olympic gold medal in doubles, finishing 10 seasons atop the ATP rankings before retiring in 2020. They went 25-5 as a pair in Davis Cup matches, including a win that clinched the U.S. victory over Russia 16 years ago in Portland.

“That is at the top of the list of my best memories in tennis. All of those times in the Davis Cup trenches with my teammates are seared into my mind. We had highs and we had lows, but they’re definitely unforgettable,” Bob Bryan said in a telephone interview from Miami, where he lives. “We’ll never forget celebrating with our teammates, who we had gone through a lot with: Andy Roddick, James Blake, Mardy Fish. We had a fun night out in Portland. We were drinking out of the cup – whatever Roddick poured in there. He was the bartender for that night.”

Told of Bryan’s captaincy on Monday, Roddick said: “Bob knows Davis Cup. He’s passionate about Davis Cup. He was one of the people that always said ‘yes’ to Davis Cup. The guys seem to like him a lot. I’m curious how he’s going to put his brand, his stamp, on it.”

Bryan, who also will have a role with the USTA’s player development program, takes over the Davis Cup squad during a recent surge by American men on tour. It’s been 20 years since Roddick won the U.S. Open for the last Grand Slam singles trophy by a man from the U.S., but Frances Tiafoe reached the semifinals at Flushing Meadows last September and Tommy Paul made it to the final four at the Australian Open in January.

The week after the Australian Open, those two were among 10 men from the United States ranked in the top 50, the most since June 1995. When Taylor Fritz rose to No. 5 last month, it was the highest ranking for an American man since Roddick in 2009.

“What I’m looking forward to is working with the guys throughout the year. Understanding them better. Getting to know them and their coaches. As a captain, you’ve got to understand that everyone is different and responds differently to different words. With coaching, sometimes it’s better not to say too much,” Bryan said. “I’m definitely going to be a good listener, but I want to bring my enthusiasm, passion and energy to this event and show the guys what an honor it is to represent the U.S. I think these guys are really motivated to win this thing.”

The USTA said in January that Fish would no longer be captain, a post he held since 2019.

Bryan was a Davis Cup coach under Fish and served as an acting captain last year when Fish was sidelined with COVID-19.

The two were fined $10,000 apiece and put on a four-month probation by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) in November for promoting a gambling operator via social media. The ITIA said Bryan and Fish cooperated fully with its investigation and removed the problematic posts immediately.

“I’ve never done any sort of sports gambling and I broke a new ITIA rule. It was a little unclear what impact that would have on my chances to be captain, but now it’s in my rearview,” Bryan said. “I’m happy to have it behind me.”

Elena Rybakina hits 10 aces in Miami for 12th straight win

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina extended her winning streak to 12 matches by delivering 10 aces – her fourth consecutive outing with at least that many – in a 6-3, 6-0 victory over 25th-seeded Martina Trevisan in the Miami Open quarterfinals.

Rybakina has 46 aces through four matches at the hard-court tournament in Florida and a WTA-leading 201 this season.

The 23-year-old, who represents Kazakhstan, improved to 20-4 in 2023, including a run to the Australian Open final in January and a title at Indian Wells, California, last week.

She is trying to become only the fifth player to win the women’s trophies at Indian Wells and Miami in the same season. Top-ranked Iga Swiatek did it a year ago; she withdrew from Miami this time because of a rib injury.

“Of course it would be amazing to achieve something like that,” the 10th-seeded Rybakina said about the prospect of completing what’s known as the Sunshine Double, “but it’s still far away.”

So far in Rybakina’s career, 13 of her 18 semifinal appearances have come on hard courts. She will face No. 3 Jessica Pegula for a berth in the final after the American fought off two match points and outlasted No. 27 Anastasia Potapova 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) in a match that ended just before 1:30 a.m. after play had been delayed by rain.

“I haven’t been that physically tired in just a really long time,” Pegula said. “Just the humidity was taking so much out of me, and I haven’t been able to play in humidity like that in a while. It was just really tough, so really, it was just pure will.”

Trevisan reached the French Open semifinals in 2022.

In fourth-round men’s action Tuesday, No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was beaten 7-6 (4), 6-4 by No. 14 Karen Khachanov, while defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner all beat seeded opponents in straight sets.

Alcaraz, who returned to No. 1 in the ATP rankings last week, got past Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting against Fritz, the top-ranked American man and seeded ninth in Miami.

Fritz compiled twice as many winners, 22, as unforced errors, 11, and only dropped serve once during a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 7 Holger Rune. That put Fritz into his first quarterfinal in seven appearances in Miami – and his first matchup against Alcaraz, a 19-year-old from Spain who won the U.S. Open in September for his first Grand Slam title.

“I’m really excited for it,” Fritz said. “I think that a lot of people are really excited for that, too.”

No. 10 Sinner eliminated No. 6 Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Sinner’s next opponent will be unseeded Emil Ruusuvuori, a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 winner against No. 26 Botic van de Zandschulp.

No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, forced to start late and off his scheduled court after the rain, beat Quentin Halys 6-4, 6-2. He will face American Christopher Eubanks, who edged Adrian Mannarino in a pair of tiebreakers.

Khachanov will play Francisco Cerundolo, a semifinalist in Miami last year, in the other men’s quarterfinal.

Fritz, Sinner reach Miami Open quarterfinals with 2-set wins

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Taylor Fritz and Jannik Sinner beat seeded opponents in straight sets at the Miami Open to move into the quarterfinals.

No. 9 Fritz compiled twice as many winners, 22, as unforced errors, 11, and only dropped serve once during a 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 7 Holger Rune.

That put Fritz, the highest-ranked American man, into his first quarterfinal in seven appearances at the hard-court tournament.

He will face either No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz or Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul next. Alcaraz is the defending champion in Miami.

No. 10 Sinner eliminated No. 6 Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4 and has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

Sinner’s next opponent will be No. 26 Botic van de Zandschulp or unseeded Emil Ruusuvuori.