Memorable for Bob and Victoria

Bob Bryan decided at the very last moment to play mixed doubles at the French Open. Good thing he did: Bryan teamed up with Victoria Azarenka to win the final.

Bryan, of the United States, and Azarenka, of Belarus, beat top-seeded Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the final at Roland Garros.

“We weren’t even signed up,” Bryan said. “I was at the practice court. I rushed over (to the referee’s office). Made it with two minutes to go.”

The 10th-seeded pairing of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain won the women’s doubles final beating Casey Dellacqua of Australia and Francesca Schiavone of Italy 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

It’s Ruano Pascual’s ninth Grand Slam title, but first with Medina Garrigues. The other eight — including four at the French Open — came with the now-retired Paola Suarez.

This was the first doubles tournament together for Dellacqua and Schiavone.

Bryan and Azarenka were seeded third, even though this was their first Grand Slam tournament as a pair. He has won three U.S. Open mixed doubles titles with other partners, in addition to five men’s doubles Grand Slam titles with his twin brother Mike.

Azarenka won the 2007 U.S. Open mixed doubles championship with Max Mirnyi.

“Victoria’s pretty clutch,” Bryan said. “I have to give this girl some credit.

I knew she was good, but I didn’t know she was this good.”

Azarenka reached the fourth round in the women’s singles.

* * * Broken contact lens hampers Monfils


Double vision may have taken the eye of Gael Monfils off the ball during his semifinal loss to Roger Federer at Roland Garros.

The athletic 59th-ranked Frenchman went down in four sets.

Monfils was treated on court with some eyedrops during his match, but the 21-year-old said he could have broken a contact lens earlier in the day.

“This morning I already had a pain in my eye and I think I broke my contact lens,” said Monfils. “I couldn’t see well, so I tried to put some eye drops in at the beginning of the match.

“It didn’t work, so I asked the doctor to come on the court. That didn’t work.

“I think part of my contact lens stayed, remained in my eye. I managed to take the other part out, but there was one part left.”

* * * Bananas on the skids for Murray

Bananas are on the skids for Andy Murray, who has labelled the fruit of choice in tennis for its quick pick-me-up qualities as “pathetic.”

That’s one of the “revelations” in the 21-year-old British player’s autobiography released during the French Open.

The No. 12, who is now into his grass-court preparation after his early exit at the French Open, says in “Hitting Back”: “Players sit there and eat them at changeovers but it can’t be to give them energy because they take ages to digest.

“To be honest, I think bananas are a pathetic fruit.”

Murray has also taken his shot at British tennis, which has the most funding but perhaps the least results among major nations. While tiny Serbia has produced three players in the top three with no federation money in the bank, Scottish-born Murray is the lone hope for his nation, whose federation is funded by mega-millions generated by Wimbledon.

Murray also criticised the hiring of high-priced foreign coaches by the Lawn Tennis Association — despite the fact that he himself was coached for 18 months by Brad Gilbert, with the American’s one-million-dollar-plus salary paid by the LTA.

The Scot also slammed his British tennis contemporaries, calling calling them lazy.

“There is something wrong with the mentality and work ethic of most of the British players. There doesn’t seem to be anyone who’s brutally honest about it either.

“I think the best way is to confront it, especially when it has been bad for so long.”

Murray is streets ahead of his compatriots, with Jamie Baker on 240 the second-highest Briton on the ATP.

* * * Jankovic’s dash to cure arm problem


Jelena Jankovic took a page from the Patty Schnyder injury playbook by making a dash to Serbia for treatment to an arm injury.

The bubbly Serb took the trip by charted jet in between her fourth round and quarterfinal matches after playing in pain with the right arm taped.

When it got worse, she took quick action. “I was in a lot of pain, so I flew to Serbia.

“I arrived that night and I had treatment and had another treatment in the morning before flying back to Paris.”

Jelena ultimately lost to Ana Ivanovic in the semifinal.

Swiss Schnyder did the same during the first week of Open for an ankle injury, winning her next round before losing to Katarina Srebotnik. Jankovic blames heavy balls used during the spring clay season for some of her problems.

“A lot of players are having injuries and problems like me.”