It has been several years already since Bob and Mike Bryan are considered into the doubles greatest of all times (GOAT) debate. After all, their impressive résumé speaks for itself: Career Golden Slam, Davis Cup, missing only Shanghai to have the Golden Masters… and they are only 36 years of age!
On this glorious Sunday, the twins added a page to their legend when they defeated Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc López 6-3, 6-4 to win their first Grand Slam crown of the season, a 16th major that assures them of having won at least one Grand Slam every year for the last decade.
Most importantly, this title was the team’s hundredth, which they won at their home Slam, in front of their friends and family.
A trophy that means the world to them.
“I was having flashbacks to my whole career towards the end of that match”, said Bob. “It was wild. I was thinking juniors, college. It was an incredible moment. I was trying to stay in the moment, but it was impossible. I mean, this number right here, we have really been looking at for a couple of years.”
“It’s always sweet winning a Grand Slam”, added Mike. “This just adds some extra whip cream and cherries and nuts on top. To win a slam for the 10th consecutive year, that was kind of in the back of our heads, too. I mean, it was just great. As Bob said, it was kind of like ecstacy. Right when the match finished it was a relief. So much emotions. I don’t think we have ever done this kind of dirty dancing swan dive. That was a first. (Laughter.)”
This hundredth title is, of course, a record for the Bryans, and one that is not close to be beaten by any team in the near future.
It is, as well, a record that highlights years of sacrifices, as the twins pointed out: “It feels great to be recognized and to achieve something great in a sport you have dedicated your life to”, said Bob. “We have sacrificed everything since two, three years old; didn’t feel like we were sacrificing because we were having so much fun at a young age. As you mature and look back you say, Gee, I didn’t go to my high school prom. I had one sip of alcohol pretty much my whole life. That’s unusual, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I mean, we got everything. I got three incredible trophies over there sitting over your right shoulder: Michelle, Micaela, and Bobby Junior. That puts a smile on my face every day. I think that also made it easier to play well in this incredible, huge moment knowing I already had that in my back pocket.”
Mike insisted on the role their parents had in their development, and on the sacrifices they had also made to see their sons fulfilling their dreams: “They are the two most supportive parents kids could ask for. We got really positive parents, and they are always with us in our toughest moments. We have said a million times before, when we lose our match we go check our e-mail right away. Our e-mails are already in there with everything we have done in our career, and he takes losses just as hard as we do. It’s pretty amazing. They are the first people we call after wins, and they have been with us every step of the way. Countless hours. My mom fed us a million balls. Dad took us to tournaments. Couldn’t have done it without them. We had a happy tennis family. We’re still closer now than we have ever been.”
Bob and Mike Bryan are, indeed, tennis legends, who will continue adding to their impressive record for several more years, hopefully. But they are also very conscious of where they are from, extremely down-to-earth, and among the most accessible players one could meet. And this, in our views, only adds to their greatness.
Congratulations to Bob and Mike Bryan! We are privileged to have the chance to witness your accomplishments.