By Andy J. Gordon
The 2010 Farmers Classic Tennis Open at UCLA finished with few surprises. Sam Querrey, the defending singles champion, outlasted the higher ranked Andy Murray to repeat as champion. On the doubles side, the Bryan Brothers, also defending champions, retained their title. In doing so, they set a record for most men’s doubles titles at 62. It was the first time in the history of the 84-year old tournament that both the singles and doubles champions were successful in defending their titles.
Querrey made it to the singles final after a bumpy road. He was taken to a third set tiebreaker by Rainer Schuttler in the quarterfinals. Against Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in the semis, Querrey was down a set and down big in a second set tiebreaker before coming back to win in three. Murray also had a difficult time reaching the final. In his first match on a chilly night against qualifier Tim Smyczek, he looked like an old man in pain slowly moving around the court. He needed three sets to get through to the next round, but seemed to gain momentum from the victory. He went on to handle Alejandro Falla in straight sets and after a seesaw semifinal three setter with Feliciano Lopez, advanced to the final.
Querrey beat Murray 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-3, in 2 hours 22 minutes to retain his title. He received $111,950 for the victory and became the first man since Andre Agassi in 2002 to repeat as champion in Los Angeles. It was Querrey’s first career win over Murray. They faced each other in June during the fourth round of Wimbledon where Murray won in three straight sets. At the Farmers Classic final, Querrey was down a set and faced match point at 30-40 4-5 in the second set, before he fought back and went on to win.
In the doubles competition, Mike and Bob Bryan took the title for the sixth time. They defeated Eric Butorac and Jean-Julien Rojer 6-7 (6), 6-2, 10-7. By taking the match to a third set tiebreaker, Butorac and Rojer presented the Bryan Brothers with their biggest challenge of the week. All of their earlier round matches were settled in straight sets. Rojer was a star on UCLA’s tennis team before turning pro, so this was like a homecoming event for him. Butorac had won 7 doubles tournaments with different partners on the pro tour. For the Bryans, it was a historic occasion. They had been feeling the pressure to move past Hall of Famers Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge for most ever men’s doubles titles. Woodforde was in attendance through the week and witnessed the record breaking victory. He hugged and shook hands with the identical twins that took away his record held for ten years.
The 2010 Farmers Classic was a week of fun, good tennis and celeb spotting at the beautiful tennis center on the campus of UCLA. Making appearances during the week were Jon Lovitz and Gavin Rossdale who participated in the Stars Under the Stars charity event (http://jetsetjen.com/articles/recreation/sports-farmers-classic-stars-under-stars). Also spotted during the week were Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, all-time Major League Baseball home run leader Barry Bonds, AVP volleyball player Jenny Johnson Jordan with her dad, gold medal winning decathlete Rafer Johnson, and actors William Shatner, Timothy Olyphant, Keenan Ivory Wayans, and Donna Mills. The event was a great week of tennis that will be repeated next year on July 25-31 at the LA Tennis Center. For information, go to www.farmersclassic.com or call 310-824-1010.
Photos courtesy of David Burrows