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Andy Murray of Britain, left, celebrates with Feliciano Lopez of Spain after winning their men’s doubles final tennis match against Joe Salisbury of Britain and the Rajeev Ram of the United States at the Queens Club tennis tournament in London, Sunday June 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Andy Murray of Britain, left, celebrates with Feliciano Lopez of Spain after winning their men’s doubles final tennis match against Joe Salisbury of Britain and the Rajeev Ram of the United States at the Queens Club tennis tournament in London, Sunday June 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)|Associated Press
Tennis

U.S. Open Saturday men's doubles: Abrams picks matches with Damm/Kodat, Cabal/Farah, Bryan/Bryan, Pavic/Soares, Kubot/Melo, Sock/Withrow

Matches start at 11 am EDT.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

MEN’s DOUBLES

Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies over Martin Damm/Toby Kodat

Want to watch both a couple of tomorrow’s stars and some great doubles at the same time? Watch this one. Krawietz and Mies are this year’s French Open Men’s doubles champions, and Martin Damm and Toby Kodat, at 15 and 16-years-old, are the United States Junior doubles champions. Don’t let Damm’s 6’5” frame fool you. But don’t let Kodat’s peach-fuzz face fool you either. They are just kids…but they can play. I’m curious to see if they can test a real professional doubles team.

Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah over Dan Evans/Cam Norrie

Okay, now for the number one doubles team in the world, Cabal and Farah. If you like doubles, or you play doubles, or if you just are curious about doubles, go see these guys play. One cuts the meat while the other readies his fork. One pulls his pants down while the other gets the toilet paper ready. One says “Good”, while the other says “match”. These Colombians compliment each other as well as two men could, and they will overwhelm Evans and Norrie.

Bob & Mike Bryan over Roberto Carballes Baena/Federico Delbonis

The Bryan Brothers are now over 40 and still winning doubles titles. It helps when you’re twins, one’s a lefty, the other’s a righty, and your father is a tennis coach. But still, this is the greatest doubles team in history, by records. You can have your Laver/Roche, your Smith/Lutz, your McEnroe/Fleming, your Woodies, your Flach/Seguso, even your Nastase/Tiriac. These guys are the best ever. And until somebody kills the King, long live the King(s).

Mate Pavic/Bruno Soares over Marcelo Arevalo/Jonny O’Mara

Watching Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares play doubles is like watching a “how-to” video. They play the game the way it’s supposed to be played. They play shots down the middle, they take the net, they put away volleys, they hold serves, and they cover for each other intuitively. These two know how to play, and they’ll win this match against the makeshift team of Arevalo and O’Mara.

Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo over Jozef Kovalik/Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Kubot/Melo are one of today’s five best doubles teams. Doubles requires certain different skills than singles, including sharper angles, better volleying, quicker reflexes, and puts a premium on serves and return-of-serves. Kubot and Melo do all those things to perfection, and will roll in this first round Men’s doubles match.

Jack Sock/Jackson Withrow over Austin Krajicek/Edouard Roger-Vasselin

Jack Sock’s days of competing in singles may well be over. But last year, when teamed with Mike Bryan (while Bob Bryan was undergoing hip replacement surgery) they teamed together to win both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, a rarified doubles double if there ever was. Sock is now playing with old friend Jackson Withrow, and they seem to mesh well, although Withrow is not Mike Bryan. Still, I like the way they play together, and although I think they’ll be tested by Krajicek/Roger-Vasselin, I like the Americans to come through with a win.

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