Sloane Stephens moves up rankings, tops Querrey

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“I am trying to do my best every match. But I know they are better than me. What can I do?”

Meanwhile, Djokovic was feeling so fresh after his easy win over Ferrer that he had time to make a cameo appearance during a legends doubles match later Thursday night.

The Serbian star posed as a doctor and pretended to perform CPR on retired French player Henri Leconte, much to the delight of the picture-snapping crowd.

Djokovic gave reporters his diagnosis during a later news conference: “(Leconte) is definitely crazy. He needs long-term treatment.”


LUCKY NO. 13: Mike Bryan can’t pronounce the name of one of his opponents in the Australian Open doubles final on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean he’s not taking the competition seriously.

Identical twins Mike and Bob Bryan, the top seeds at Melbourne Park, advanced to their ninth Australian Open final with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over the Italian duo of Simon Bolelli and Fabio Fognini on Thursday.

The brothers will be trying to win a record 13th Grand Slam title, which will move them one ahead of the Australian greats John Newcombe and Tony Roche on the all-time Grand Slam doubles titles list.

The Bryans play Dutchmen Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling, who upset the third-seeded Spanish duo of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez to reach their first Grand Slam final.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen that guy,” Bryan said, referring to Sijsling. “I don’t know how to pronounce his name. But they’ve played big doubles. They serve huge and rip groundstrokes.

“Hopefully they’re nervous, but you can’t count on it.”

Bryan said the doubles game has changed to such an extent in recent years, he and his brother have only faced one serve-and-volley player en route to the final. Most of the teams they’ve played have preferred to hit from the baseline.

“That’s kind of the new era of doubles. You see guys serving and staying back,” he said. “You’re going to see that over the (coming) years. When most of these doubles guys become extinct, you’re going see just a bunch of crosscourt singles.”


TEENAGE DREAM: Australian teenager Ashleigh Barty already knows how she’ll spend part of the prize money she’ll pocket for reaching the women’s doubles final at the Australian Open.

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