American Jack Sock (right) hugs partner Vasek Pospisil of Canada after their semifinal win on Friday. Before Wimbledon, the two had never teamed at a major.
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By Nicholas J. Walz, USTA.com
It was very good news for American tennis fans on the Fourth of July, as the results of the Wimbledon gentlemen’s doubles semifinals assured that the United States would be taking home a title back across the Atlantic Ocean.
Defending Wimbledon doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan are back in a Grand Slam final – the 26th of their illustrious careers. The 36-year-old twins beat Michael Llodra and Nicholas Mahut of France, 7-6, 6-3, 6-2, in the semifinals on Friday. For a duo that has won a record 15 Grand Slams together, along with 98 career ATP titles, the result was somewhat expected.
Their opponents for Saturday’s final, however, are not. Nebraska-born Jack Sock, 21, and his partner, 24-year-old Vasek Pospisil of Canada, who had never teamed up at a major tournament before last week, beat reigning US Open men’s doubles champions Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, 7-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The Sock-Pospisil tandem knocked out the second-seeded team of Alexander Peya of Austria and Bruno Soares of Brazil, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4, in the quarterfinals before beating the No. 5 Paes-Stepanek pairing. Neither Sock nor Pospisil had ever been beyond the third round of any Grand Slam men’s doubles draw before that. Sock does own a mixed doubles Grand Slam trophy, winning the 2011 US Open with fellow American Melanie Oudin.
The top-seeded Bryans did not reach the final at any of the last three Grand Slam tournaments, after winning four major titles in a row before that. A fourth Wimbledon crown for the California brothers would tie them with John McEnroe and Peter Fleming for most Wimbledon titles by an American men’s team in the Open Era. They also won in 2006, 2011 and 2013.
In the boys' singles draw, three Americans – No. 6 Stefan Kozlov, Noah Rubin and Taylor Harry Fritz – head into the final weekend with a chance to win a junior title. The sixth-seeded Kozlov, 16, beat second-seeded Hyeon Chung of South Korea, 6-4, 7-6, and is one win away from his second Grand Slam final in 2014 (Australian Open).
Rubin, 18, defeated Tim Van Rijthoven of the Netherlands, 7-6, 7-6, while Fritz, 16, edged out Filippo Baldi of Italy in three sets, 7-5, 6-7, 7-5. Both unseeded, Rubin and Fritz will face off in the semifinals.