The Bryan Bros get in a ritual chest bump on route to another US Open Men's Doubles title.
© Philip Hall/USTA
by McCarton Ackerman
Friday, September 7, 2012
No. 2 seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the U.S. went into the US Open doubles final having split their four previous matches this year against No. 5 seeds Leander Paes of India and Radek Stepanek of Czech Republic, but they have officially gained the edge in their head-to-head. Earning 12 break point opportunities throughout the match without facing a single one on their own serve, the Bryan brothers saved their best match of the tournament for last by rolling through to their fourth US Open title together with a 6-3, 6-4 win.
The win was their 12th Grand Slam doubles title together as a team, surpassing the record for most Grand Slam doubles titles as a team in the Open era that was previously shared with Aussies Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. They now have tied the record for most Grand Slam doubles titles of all time as a team and share that record with Aussies John Newcombe and Tony Roche.
"It's not going to sink in for a long time," said Mike. "We idolized the Woodies growing up and they were an inspiration to us. But we're just having fun out there and it's been showing in our results."
Paes and Stepanek found themselves in trouble from the beginning stages of the match, having to fight off three break points on Stepanek's serve at 0-1 and two on Paes's serve at 1-2. But the Americans made good on their sixth break opportunity, forcing an error out of Stepanek on his serve to take a 4-2 lead. Two easy service games later, Bob fired down a service winner to take the opening set.
Stepanek continued to struggle on his serve in the very first game of the second set, losing his serve a second time to send the pair down a break of serve. Although they were unable to convert on two more break point chances on Stepanek's serve at 1-3 in the second set, the early lead was all they needed. A lengthy volley exchange on their first match point on Mike's serve at 5-4 led to Paes sending a backhand into the net and the Bryan brothers celebrated with one final chest bump.
The win was also a measure of revenge for the brothers' loss to Paes-Stepanek in the finals of the Australian Open earlier this year.
"I think they started really well," Stepanek said. "They were all over our serve from the beginning and making life very difficult for us out there. They were the better team today, so they deserve the win."
Paes was equally complimentary of both his partners and his opponent.
"Even though we got beaten today by one of the greatest teams of all time, my team and Radek's team came out and brought everything they had to this tournament. I can guarantee you we will be giving it everything we have every single day for the rest of the year." he said.
The Bryan brothers won their previous US Open titles together in 2005, 2008 and 2010. In addition, Bob has won four US Open mixed doubles title while Mike has one to his name. The brothers will now head to Spain with the rest of the US Davis Cup team to do battle next weekend against David Ferrer and the rest of the Spanish Davis Cup team in a semifinal tie.