Top-seeded Americans Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan took sole possession of the No. 2 spot on the list of Open Era doubles titles champions, after defending their title at theDelray Beach International Tennis Championships with a 6-3, 7-6(3) win over GermanPhilipp Marx and Slovakian Igor Zelenay on Sunday.
The Bryans’ 58th team title moved them ahead of Americans Peter Fleming-John McEnroe and South Africans Bob Hewitt-Frew McMillan, with each of those pairs winning 57 titles, and placed them just three back of Australians Todd Woodbridge-Mark Woodforde’s record mark.
“It’s pretty cool to be on our own,” said Mike Bryan. “I’m sure they’re not going to get any easier. You feel a little more extra pressure because everyone’s talking about it, we’re even thinking about it now. We’re in this final, we see this on paper, it’s a pretty good matchup for us ranking-wise, it’s just a good shot at a title. We want to break the record.”
The Bryans broke Marx and Zelenay once from five chances in the opening set and fought off three break points faced on serve to close out the straight-sets win in 69 minutes. The Americans were contesting their third straight final at the ATP World Tour 250 hard-court tennis tournament, having reached the final in 2008 and winning the title last year, defeating Marcelo Melo-Andre Sa, of Brazil.
They improved to an 11-2 season mark with their second title of the year. They kicked off the 2010 campaign by winning the Australian Open for the fourth time over rivals Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the finals. It was their eight Grand Slam Championship and they have been in a record setting sixteen Grand Slam Finals.
Mike Bryan said about chasing the all-time doubles titles record this season:“We’re going to try not to worry about it. We have goals to be No. 1, and to be No. 1 you have to win titles.”
In 2009, they clinched the ATP World Tour Doubles Champions title for the fifth time in seven years, tying Woodbridge and Woodforde for most year-end No. 1 finishes.
The 31-year-old American twins celebrated another milestone Saturday with their semi-final victory, becoming the first team in the Open Era to win 600 matches together. "It's a special milestone for us," Mike Bryan said. "To play this long together and still be doing it with 600 wins is quite an accomplishment. It's good to do it in Delray, a place we like coming to, and where American fans can support us." Excerpted from the ATP WEB Site.
*** Tennis Channel times for the USA vs. Serbia Davis Cup Tie in Belgrade over the next three days: Friday Singles, John Isner, USA vs. Viktor Troicki, Serbia, 7:00 a.m West Coast and 10:00 a.m. East Coast. Follwed by Sam Querrey, USA, vs. Novak Djokovic, Serbia. Saturday Doubles, Mike-Bob Bryan, USA, vs. Nenad Zimonjic-Janko Tipsarevic, Serbia, 5:00 a.m. West Coast and 8:00 a.m. East Coast. Sunday Reverse Singles, Isner vs. Djokovic, 6:00 West Coast and 9:00 East Coast, with Querrey vs. Troicki to follow. If you miss any of these telecasts they will be rebroadcast at 7:00 Eastern Time Zone each day and, I think, 4:00 West Coast. Check the Tennis Channel WEB Site for exact times.
*** The Bryan Bros. Band, featuring David Baron and Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios, played gala and sold out gigs over the past few weeks at the Viper Room in Hollywood, Cafe du Nord in San Francisco, the HP Pavillionin San Jose, and four gigs at the Delray Beach Tournament. Upcoming gigs include Tuesday, March 9 at the La Quinta Resort at 8:30, plus other gigs on the grounds of the Indian Wells and Miami Tournaments. They will also play at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston on Thursday evening, April 8, following the evening matches.
*** The Bros. 60 Minutes piece looks like it will be on Sunday Night on CBS in late March. We will send along the exact time and date when we have it.
*** Here's the link to the Bryan Bros. Band's hot new CD, Let It Rip on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/let-it-rip-feat-david-baron-ep/id341137121 Get it and give it a listen for four straight days and you'll be hooked by thier great and catchy tunes.
*** Mike 'n Bob send along their best congratulations to the Woodies - - - Mark Woodforde 'n Todd Woodbridge on their being named to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. They will be inducted in July at the Newport Tournament. Bob wrote: "We send along our congratulations to our idols, The Woodies, on their induction into the International Hall of Fame. No team amassed records and a body of doubles work like Todd and Mark. They were an amazing team in so many ways and we not only looked up to them, butwe learned from them. We feel fortunate to have been able to compete against them and we will always remember out matches with them. If our schedule permits, we hope to be there in Newport to see them go in the Hall of Fame. They are great guys, great gentlemen and a credit to the sport - - - then and now." Mike Bryan added: "We are happy for the Woodies and we say well done on this honor and also on their careers. Not only were they the best team to ever play the great game of doubles, but they also competed with class. We also consider them friends and they have always been very nice and encouraging to us. They love the game and are still in it and coaching - - - which is great. We still see them quite often and they always have a good word to say to us. They set the gold standard for doubles. Davis Cup, Grand Slams, Olympics, Tour Events - - - they did it all and they won 'em all. Good for the International Hall of Fame for inducting them and recognizing their wonderful contributions to the sport."
*** Had a good and fun meeting with big time music execs Bill Vuylsteke and Jonathan McHugh at Coogies last Wednesday and then we visited the Malibu Racquet Club. There are plans to hold a gala music and tennis event called Grand Slam Jam at MRC next Oct. 23. Besides a clinic and pro am and tournament for club level players, there would be an exhibition featuring Mike 'n Bob and friends from the tour and then a big concert featuring some huge acts in a well known music club in LA. Along with Bill, Jonathan, Mike 'n Bob, Trey Walke, and John McCampbell, Sean McCarthy is a driving force behind this event. More details will be coming about this GSJ in the months ahead.
*** The Bryan Bros. are looking forward to playing the First Serve Pro Am in Miami, March 22-24. The event will feature most of the top 14 doubles stars in the world and is headed up by Trey and Erika Buchholz. Coach Bryan will run the event that is always fun, social and with very competitive and hotly contested matches over the two days. Chris Jeffries is the founder and benefactor of this fabulous Pro Am.
*** Coach Bryan enjoyed doing three days of clinics and talks in Washington DC, Richmond and McClean. Special thanks to hardworking and dynamic Janine Underwood and the Virginia Tennis Assn. and the Richmond Tennis Assn. and the Mid Atlantic Foundation for having me out to do so many great events. I also enjoyed helping emcee the Mid Atlantic Hall of Fame Banquet, headed up so well by the creative and powerful Sara Fornaciari. Altruistic and visionary Ken Brody was inducted into the Hall of Fame, as wasMike 'n Bob's Stanford teammate and long time pal, Paul Goldstein. What a fantastic young man who had a sensational and record setting junior, collegiate and pro career. It was a murderers row of four incredible talks by four inspirational Hall of Famers - - -Stan Smith, Donald Dell, Dick Gould - - - all presenting Paul, and then Paul's acceptance speech - - - just so well delivered and everyone in the room was so uplifted and so proud to be in tennis.
*** Coach Bryan has had a busy month riding the rails for tennis and for Prince. He has done several talks and clinics in Chicago, Indy, Dallas, Richmond, Washington DC, and McClean. Tennis is alive and well and thriving and there is so much enthusiasm "out there" for our great sport.
*** All the Bryans mourn the loss and are saddened by the passing of their wonderful friend, 19 year-old, Alex Smith. They first met Alex in Shanghai a few years ago and were also glad to have him on the bench last year in ther Davis Cup match againstSwitzerland. He even came over to London to root the Bros. on at Wimbledon. He was an inspiration to us all in so many ways - - - his friendship and caring for others, his humor, his zest for life, his courage, and his passion for tennis. His best of all human spirits will live on in us all. We send along our most heartfelt sympathy to his great Dad David and Mom Lanie, and his terrific brother Jack.
*** Thanks for your support and root like hell for our US Davis Cup Team over the next three days.