Tennis

Doubles finalist to wife: Stop watching

Bob Bryan
Bob Bryan reaches for a shot in the Australian Open doubles semifinals.
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)

Bob Bryan plays for his record 12th Grand Slam doubles title with his brother Mike on Saturday, but he's advising wife Michelle not to watch on television at home in Miami.

He doesn't want her to go into labor until he's back in the United States. She nearly did Thursday.

She became so overwhelmed by the brothers' semifinal victory Thursday that she felt contractions and had to turn off the TV, Bob Bryan said.

"She turned it off in the third set because she was starting to feel a couple small contractions," Bob Bryan said.

The top-seeded brothers had to fight off a match point and rally from a 5-2 deficit in the third-set tiebreaker to beat Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Horia Tecau of Romania 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).

The couple is expecting the birth of their first child, a girl, and Michelle's due date just happens to fall on the same day as the doubles final.

''I've been telling her, 'Don't watch the matches; it will get your heart rate going, and you might spit that baby out,''' Bob Bryan said. ''She knows she's a few days away from me coming home. She's not going to risk it, not now.''

Bryan almost caught an earlier flight back to Florida.

''I think we maybe got a little lucky,'' Mike Bryan said. ''Played kind of our best tennis at the very end.''

The brothers were coming off a tough, three-set quarterfinal win over Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland that didn't finish until 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday because they followed the 4-hour-plus men's singles quarterfinal between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych at Rod Laver Arena.

''It was tough to sleep last night because we were used to being up,'' Mike Bryan said.

The Americans now play the unseeded pairing of Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic in the final for a chance to make history. They're currently tied at 11 career Grand Slam titles with the Australian doubles team of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Bob Bryan will be on the first flight out of Melbourne on Sunday morning.

''(Michelle's) been so happy and supportive of what we're doing,'' Bob Bryan said. ''That makes it really easy.''

NewsCore contributed to this report.

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