Bob, Mike wrap up the ‘Bryan Slam’ at Wimbledon
LONDON – The Bryan brothers got big air at Wimbledon on Saturday.
Yes, there was a little more room than usual between their feet and the ground for their latest version of the “Bryan Bump” – the famed chest bump they use to celebrate their victories – because of what that victory meant.
Their 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Croatian Ivan Dodig and Brazilian Marcelo Melo wrapped up the Bryan Slam, making the 35-year-old identical twins from California the first men’s doubles team in the history of Open-era tennis to hold all four major titles at the same time.
“It just feels like we’re adding nuts and whipped cream and cherries to our great career,” Bob Bryan said. “We said that a few years ago: If we retire today, we feel like we’ve done it all. Let’s go have some fun and add to whatever this is.”
They now have 15 Grand Slam tournament victories, improving on the record they broke at the Australian Open when they surpassed John Newcombe and Tony Roche as the winningest men’s pairing of all time. It’s their third Wimbledon title and the victory made the Bryans the first team to hold all the slams along with an Olympic gold medal.
If they win the U.S. Open in September, they’ll join Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman as the second men’s team to complete a calendar Grand Slam. The Aussie duo did it in 1951, 17 years before the Open era began, and ended up winning seven titles in a row before the streak was snapped at the 1952 U.S. Open.
“I didn’t think anything could feel as sweet as the gold medal, but this one just feels like there’s a cap, a lid, or a ribbon around our career,” Mike Bryan said. “It’s pretty cool. It’s something we never dreamed of, to try to win four in a row. It’s too hard to dominate in doubles. Maybe we had a little luck involved along the way. We just took them one at a time. It just added up.”
Taking Centre Court against a new doubles pairing of the Dodig and Melo, the top-seeded Bryan brothers came out shaky. Lowlighted by a whiff on a volley attempt by Mike, they fell behind 5-0 on their way to losing the first set.
But they got a pair of breaks in the second to even things up, then got a break apiece in the next two sets for the win.
Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai won their first Grand Slam title with a 7-6 (1), 6-1 victory over Australian duo Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the women’s doubles final.
Hsieh became the first player from Taiwan to win a Grand Slam title, while Peng gave China its first doubles title at a major in seven years.
The eighth-seeded Hsieh and Peng, who did not face a seeded opponent until the final, started playing together in 2008, when they won their first 11 matches. They now have six titles together.
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