Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan are American professional doubles tennis players, who have already become the living legends of the game. In about a week from now, the Bryan brothers will celebrate their 36 birthdays. Age, however, has not dented their game or muted their combined rhythmic tennis music as the brothers keep going on and on. They have now been playing together for the last 19 years, after making their professional debut at the 1995 US Open. Their first Grand Slam win came at the French Open in Roland Garros in 2003, when they beat Paul Haarhuis and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the final. All through that tournament, the Bryan Brothers did not drop a single set.
If their current performance is any indication, then they do not appear to go out of the reckoning any time soon. As of March 17, 2014, their record as World’s no. 1 doubles team of players had reached a combined figure of 355 weeks, which is historically far far longer than any other doubles pair in the world. This includes a 90 weeks stint from August 2010 to May 2012 and another one of 60 weeks, which began on February 2013, and remains unbroken until today. With their victory in Wimbledon men’s doubles in 2013, they became the only doubles pair in the Open Era to have held all the four Grand Slam titles at once. Their record as ATP year-end no.1 doubles team for 9 times is not matched by any other doubles pair. ATP recognized them as the doubles team of last decade for such marvelous feat.
The charismatic Californian Bryan brothers were born as monozygotic mirror twins. Mike is older by two minutes but Bob out-measures him in height by 3 centimeters. As per embryological birth statistics, only 25% monozygotic twins are born with opposite or mirror-image features. This unique biological characteristic allows them to mirror each other’s movements, when on court. While Mike is a right hander, Bob is a lefty. Both of them have the same attacking style of play and unlike the double-fisted backhands used by most modern players, the Bryans play with single-handed backhands. The right and left combination affords Bryan Brothers extremely extensive all-round court coverage, when compared to two right-handers or two left-handers.
The phenomenal achievements of the Bryan Brothers in professional tennis make for an extremely interesting read. Other than a Career Grand Slam and 15 Grand Slam victories, the Brothers have together won 98 ATP tour titles playing as a team. For Mike Bryan, this figure reached 100 yesterday, with the brothers’ men’s doubles victory at 2014 Monte Carlo Open. In 2002, Bob was unavailable for a while and Mike, partnering with India’s Mahesh Bhupathi, won a title in Long Island. In the same year, he had Mark Knowles of the Bahamas alongside, when he won at Nottingham. They have won the gold medal at 2012 London Olympics and their Grand Slam victories include; Australian Open 6 times; French Open twice; Wimbledon thrice and US Open on 4 occasions. In 2003, 2004 and 2009, the Brothers won the Tennis Masters Cup. They have been a part of the USA’s Davis Cup Team since 2003 and in the year of their debut, the twins played a crucial role in USA 3-2 triumph in the World Group Play-off match against Slovakia. In 2007, they won the doubles match in USA’s Davis Cup win over Russia. The Brothers’ winning record in Davis Cup is an impressive 21-4.
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