Bryans Claim Fourth Australian Open Title
The Bryan brothers win their eighth major championship
Courtesy of Wayne Bryan
ATP World Tour Doubles Champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan defeated rivals Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 Saturday evening in Melbourne to win their fourth Australian Open doubles crown.
The Americans successfully defended their title at Melbourne Park, having beaten Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles in the final last year, and also lifted the trophy in 2006 (d. Paes-Damm) and 2007 (d. Bjorkman-Mirnyi).
“It's a great city. We feel comfortable here,” said Mike. “I mean, I think Andre called it the happy slam. Seems we're in a good mood coming down here, fresh from an off season. We like to get a jump to the year."
The victory marks the twins’ eighth Grand Slam championship win, putting them in second place behind Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (11) for most Grand Slam doubles titles won by a team in the Open Era. In addition to their triumphs at the Australian Open, the Bryans also won Roland Garros in 2003, Wimbledon in 2006 and the US Open in 2005 and 2008.
“Catching the Woodies is on our mind obviously,” said Bob. “But it's a few Sundays away before we get to that point. They are our idols. To be considered in the same league with those guys is an honor in itself. I imagine if we stay healthy, we might touch that mark. But if we do we definitely want to honor those guys for all they've done for us. Todd, when he retired, he's given us advice. They've been extremely nice to us when we were youngsters.”
In the teams’ 12th meeting, the Bryans made the perfect start as they raced to a 5-2 lead before closing out the first set 6-3.
Second seeds Nestor and Zimonjic quickly opened up a 3-1 lead in the second set, but it was an advantage they were to relinquish immediately and the match appeared to be slipping away from them in straight sets as they went on to trail 2-5 in the tie-break. The 2009 Wimbledon champions hit back, though, and leveled the match as they won the tie-break 7-5.
Undeterred by the loss of the second set, the Bryans broke serve to lead 3-1 in the deciding set and went on to close out the victory 6-3.
“It was a tough break losing the second set,” said Bob. “Maybe in another final, a smaller tournament, that could have broken us. But when you play two weeks here and it's a Grand Slam final, you don't let anything get you down. I thought we stayed extremely positive. We put it all behind us. I thought actually our energy went up in the third. We kind of had out of body experiences in the third, kind of just got across the finish line somehow. It was great.”
The 31-year-old twins also attributed their success partly to switching sides on the doubles court, with right-handed Mike returning from the deuce court.
“We thought we would try something different,” explained Mike. They've kind of had our number. Last year they beat us in a lot of finals. We decided to throw a new look at them. We used to play like that early in our career. We've had some experience doing it.
“It was our first time in a Grand Slam final playing that way, but it seemed to help. They served extremely big. It's a little easier to take the inside out backhand crosscourt than trying to pull a big one. It could be the way of the future.”
“It felt today like there was a little bit less pressure,” said Mike. “I thought maybe they were the favorites. Even though we were seeded No. 1, they had beaten us. We went in there a little looser. I think we felt the pressure in the past.”
The Bryans regained the year-end No. 1 team ranking last year after victory at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, making it the third time they had been crowned ATP World Tour Champions and the fifth time they have been ranked #1 in the world at the seasons end. They have also been ranked #2 twice. Story excerpted from ATPWorldTour.com
Feb. 3 Hollywood, Bryan Bros. Band performance at the Viper Club, with David Baron on vocals and County Crows drummer Jim Bogios on drums. They will go on at 8:00 sharp and contact the Viper Club for tickets. It is close to a sell out right now.
Feb. 6 San Francisco, Bryan Bros. Band performance at the Cafe du Nord at 9:00, again with David and Jim.
Feb. 8-14 San Jose, SAP Open (Bill Rapp Tournament Director) and the Bros. are scheduled for Tuesday Night.
Feb. 15-21 Memphis, Pro Tournament.
Feb. 22-29 Delray Beach, Pro Tournament. (Mark Baron Tournament Director).
Feb. 23, 26 Delray Beach, Bryan Bros. Band performance, featuring David Baron at 5:00.
March TBA, New York, featured on CBS's 60 Minutes, interviewed by Lesley Stahl.
March 1-8 Belgrade, Davis Cup vs. Serbia, withCaptain Patrick McEnroe and teammates John Isnerand Sam Querrey.
Mar. 11-21 Indian Wells, Pro Tournament.
Mar. 22-24 Miami, First Serve Pro Am (Chris Jeffries, Trey and Erika Buchholz).
April 25-4 Key Biscayne, Pro Tournament.
April 5-11 River Oaks, United States Claycourt Championships (Van Barry Tournament Director).
April 8 River Oaks CC, Bryan Bros. Bandperformance, featuring David Baron.