Knowles, Mertinak lose in quarters to Bryans
It was a short-lived season opener for Mark Knowles and his new doubles partner Michal Mertinak of Slovakia. The duo were given their exiting tickets in the quarter-final rounds of the Medibank International, being played in Sydney, Australia.
Knowles and Mertinak fell, 6-3 and 6-2, to the top seeds, American identical twin brothers, Bob and Mike Bryan, yesterday. The Bryans have now moved on to the semi-finals where they will play Juan Ignacio Chela and Guillermo Gracia-Lopez, today. The quarter-final match was over in less than an hour yesterday. It saw Knowles and Mertinak serve up four aces to their opponent’s six. Both teams closed with one double fault.
The unseeded Bahamian/Slovakian team scored a win on Monday, but were outclassed by the Bryans on Thursday. They defeated Jeremy Chardy and Gilles Simon in the first round, 6-4, 3-6 and 10-6. The tournament opener lasted a little over an hour and a half.
At last year’s tournament, Knowles and his partner American Mardy Fish were forced to retire in the first round after Knowles suffered an injury to his left calf. At that time, Knowles and Fish were playing Carston Ball and Stephen Huss.
Knowles’injury also kept him out of last year’s Australian Open and other major events. The Bahamian tennis professional is hoping to have a better year this year. The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. It is scheduled to start January 17, in Melbourne, Australia. It is unknown if Bahamian-born Ryan Sweeting, who now plays under the American banner, will compete at the Australian Open.
It was reported that Sweeting suffered an injury to his hamstring while trying to qualify for the men’s singles main draw, for the Heineken Open, on Sunday. Sweeting was lined up to play hometown favorite Jose Statham, of New Zealand. Statham was later defeated by Pere Riba, who advanced into the main draw.