Mike and Bob won’t give in. Not just yet. The 36 year old Californian twins still have the match-fire burning within them. On Sunday afternoon at London’s O2 arena, the Bryans captured their fourth World Tour Doubles title in their sixth championship match. It was also the top-seeded Bryans 103th team trophy as they scored a 6-7, 6-2, 10-7 victory over the seventh seed Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil in the final. Their achievement in the men’s doubles is truly remarkable as they completed 10 or more tour-level titles in a single season for the fourth time. They also won 10+ titles in 2007, 2010 and 2013 and ended 2014 with a 64-12 match record. For the 10th time in their long career, the Bryan Brothers have finished as the year-end no.1. Their earlier year-end top finishes were achieved in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The twins had completed the century of doubles title playing together during the year’s last Grand Slam, the US Open 2014.
The top-seeded Bryans had reached the final after winning their semifinal against Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin on Saturday. Although Bob & Mike didn’t finish as Group winners, they could still reach the semifinal with a 2-1 record after the Polish/Swedish team of Lukas Kubot of Poland and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden handed them a shock defeat in a Group A league game. But the brothers played a stormy semifinal against Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin to finish the match 6-0, 6-3 in just 53 minutes and extended their winning streak against Benneteau and Roger-Vasselin to 4-0. In a complete dominance during the first set, the American twins lost only three first service points, hit four aces and converted four of out of five break point opportunities. In the second set too, the Americans took an early 4-1 lead and closed out the match with an ace.
In the final, however, the Bryans needed a bit of hard work to do against Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo. The Croat/Brazilian combo had reached the final without a single team title during 2014 but they topped the Group B in league matches. Playing against the Bryans in the first set, Dodig/Melo saved each one of the four break point that they faced. As Mike served at 4-5, 30/0, his service hit his brother Bob on the back of his head and down went Bob with an alarming thud. Fortunately nothing untoward happened except that brothers lost the first set 6-7 in 48 minutes. The twins put the events of the first set behind them and bounced back in the second set. Melo was broken after serving two double faults in the fourth game and the Bryans saved one break point themselves and raced to a 4-2 lead. They broke again as Melo served at 2-5, 30-40 and forced the Match tie-break. They finished their 2014 campaign by winning the final after converting three out of the first four points in their favor in the Match tie-break.
Even before their victory, the Brothers Mike and Bob stepped onto the O2 Centre Court on Thursday to receive their trophies in the 2014 ATP World Tour Awards ceremony. There were two doubles trophies for them; one for ATP World Tour No.1 Doubles Team and the other Trophy as Fans’ Favorites. ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode gave away the trophies to Bob and Mike Bryan. Mike said that 2014 had been a special year for them with the 100th title won as a team at the US Open. Apart from the year’s last Grand Slam, the Brothers also won 8 other title this year finishing the season with 102 career titles. That became 103 after their victory in the final on Sunday.
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