Aug. 4, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford climbed back on the medal stand on Saturday as the Bryan brothers won gold for Team USA. Bob and Mike Bryan led a busy day for Stanford athletes at the Olympic Games from London.
In Tennis action...
Bob Bryan `98 and Mike Bryan `98 defeated France's Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6 (2) on Saturday afternoon, capturing the gold medal in the Olympics doubles competition at the All-England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club in Wimbledon.
Seeded No. 1 in the 32-team draw, the Bryan Brothers claimed their first career gold medal. In two previous Olympics appearances, the Bryan Brothers earned a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008 and reached the quarterfinals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
In addition, the 34-year-old Bryans completed the Golden Slam of doubles (sweeping all four major titles and gold medal) in the process.
Leading 4-3 in the first set, the Bryan Brothers held serve in a pivotal game that featured eight deuces to move in front 5-3. After France's No. 2-seeded duo held serve to creep within 5-4, the Bryans returned the favor to win the first set 6-3.
In a hard-fought second set that was tied at 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5, France's tandem held serve to take a 6-5 lead. The Bryan Brothers then held serve to force a tiebreaker at 6-6.
After Llodra and Tsonga won the first point of the tiebreaker, the Bryan Brothers ripped off five in a row to move ahead 5-1. After both teams alternated points, the Bryans secured the deciding point following a lengthy rally in which Bob Bryan chased down an overhead smash by Tsonga in the corner to keep the point alive.
Tiebreakers turned out to be a common occurrence during the Bryans' tournament run. Of the 11 total sets played over five matches, seven were decided via tiebreaker.
The Bryan Brothers, who have won 11 Grand Slam titles, now own 79 career doubles crowns, representing an all-time men's team record.
Meanwhile in mixed doubles, the No. 3-seeded pairing of Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond dropped their semifinal match to top-seeded Victoria Azarenka and Max Mirnyi of Belarus 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.
In Women's Diving action...
Cassidy Krug had a strong performance in the semifinals of the 3-meter springboard competition, finishing fifth and qualifying for the final. Krug showed a big improvement from the qualifying round and will be a medal contender in the final. Krug scored 345.60 points, which was 25 points better than the first round. The 2007 grad, was nine points out of third place as she looks to climb on the podium in her first Olympics.
Krug will compete in the final on Sunday, August 5, at 11:00 a.m.
In Track & Field action...
A pair of 2012 NCAA Champions competed on Saturday as Katerina Stefanidi made her Olympic debut in the qualifying for the pole vault and Amaechi Morton ran in the semifinals of the 400-meter hurdles. Stefanidi, competing for her native Greece, cleared 13-9 ½ (4.25m), but did not advance to the final.
Morton ran in lane 9 of the third semifinal of the 400-meter hurdles. He got out well and appeared in contention, but pulled up with an apparent injury. It was a disappointing finish for the Nigerian star, but being an Olympic semifinalist is still nothing to scoff at.
In Beach Volleyball action...
The U.S. women's beach volleyball team of Kerri Walsh Jennings ('00) and Misty May-Treanor, seeded No. 3, posted a 21-13, 21-12 win, Saturday, over the Netherlands' Marleen Van Iersel and Sanne Keizer in the first round of elimination in the Olympic tournament at Horse Guards Parade. The U.S. pair is now 4-0 in London and has dropped just one set in the process.
Walsh Jennings finished with six kills, four blocks and three digs, while May-Treanor tallied 16 kills and 11 digs.
The pair advance to the quarterfinals where it will take on Italy's seventh-seeded duo of Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti on Sunday, August 5 (time TBD).
In Men's Water Polo action...
The United States was dealt its first setback of Group B play Saturday, an 11-6 loss at the hands of Serbia.
All four of Stanford's alumni saw action in the contest, with Tony Azevedo and Peter Varellas each netting a goal. Azevedo got the U.S. on the board after Serbia scored three times to start the contest.
The U.S. trailed 5-3 at halftime but Serbia opened the second half strong, scoring three straight goals to go up 8-3 before Varellas found the back of the net to cut things to 8-4. The U.S. would get to within 9-6 late but Serbia scored twice in the final minutes to put the game out of reach.
Even before the start of the contest, the U.S. learned that it had advanced to the quarterfinals due to Romania's loss to Montenegro earlier Saturday. The U.S. concludes Group B play Monday against Hungary at 7:30 a.m. PT (3:30 p.m. local time). A win would clinch at least a second-place finish for the Americans in the group, however a loss combined with a Montenegro win over Great Britain would drop the U.S. to fourth in the group.