Bryan brothers win Australian Open doubles; record 13th Slam

Associated Press
1/26/2013 9:23:12 AM
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MELBOURNE, Australia - Mike and Bob Bryan have set one more record together as a doubles team — and this may be the most special of them all.

The identical twins became the most celebrated doubles team in Grand Slam history by winning their 13th major title at the Australian Open on Saturday, beating the unseeded Dutch team of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling 6-3, 6-4 in 53 minutes.

The 34-year-old Americans had been level with the Australian legends John Newcombe and Tony Roche with 12 major titles.

"It feels real good to have that record," Mike Bryan said. "To be a part of history is pretty special. We weren't thinking about it much out there, but now that we have it, it's going to be fun to look back on our career and say we have the most Grand Slams."

After converting their third match point, the brothers jumped in the air and bumped chests and then clapped their hands on their rackets to the several hundred fans who stayed in Rod Laver Arena after the women's singles final to watch the match.

They were so excited about the historic win, they gave high-fives to some fans after the match, including one man wearing a Los Angeles Lakers jersey who had covered the letter "T'' in Kobe Bryant's last name so it read "Bryan."

Sijsling joked during the trophy presentation that he had lost count of how many titles they'd won. "It's probably 15," he said. "What is it?"

Haase then remarked, "I still don't know who's who."

The Bryans have won each major at least once, but they play their best tennis Down Under — they now have six Australian Open titles to go along with four at the U.S. Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the French Open.

"I think we're so successful at this tournament because we spent the off season mainly in the same spot working toward the new year," Mike Bryan said. "We come into these tournaments with momentum."

The fact that they're brothers — and extremely close — helps, as well.

"We never really point fingers in tough situations," Bob Bryan said. "We usually say how we feel right away. We clear the air. Those feelings never really linger, so we're able to bounce back pretty quick after a tough week."

The list of the brothers' accomplishments and records grows by the year. They've been ranked No. 1 in doubles for eight of the past 10 years. They've won at least one Grand Slam title for a record nine consecutive years. They've won a record 84 titles together overall.

Last year, they captured a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics — one of the only major awards they had yet to win.

Having achieved so much, they were asked how they maintain their enthusiasm to keep playing a full tournament schedule. Last year, they played 73 matches together.

"As far as records, there's not much" left to achieve, Bob Bryan said. "But like we've told you before, we're competitors. We hate to lose. We want to finish No. 1."

His brother said keeping up their energy levels is the only tough part.

"A lot of sugar before the matches," he said.

Mike Bryan Bob Bryan (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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