No debate remains on who is the greatest men's doubles team in the Open Era.
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan put the debate to rest in convincing fashion on Friday. The Bryan brothers beat Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 to claim the 2012 U.S. Open men's doubles crown. It represents their 12th career Grand Slam doubles title and also marks the fourth time they have finished on top at the U.S. Open.
They previously won men's doubles titles at the U.S. Open in 2005, 2008 and 2010. The Bryan brothers also reached the finals one other time in 2003. This latest victory also tied the record set by Bob Lutz and Stan Smith for most U.S. Open titles in men's doubles.
With their latest Grand Slam victory, the Bryan brothers surpassed Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde for the most career Grand Slam victories in men's doubles during the Open Era. The legendary Australian duo tallied 11 career Grand Slam victories before retiring from tennis. The Bryan brothers had been stuck in a tie Woodbridge and Woodforde ever since winning the 2011 Wimbledon men's doubles title.
In a bit of poetic justice, they reached the historical milestone against Paes and Stepanek - the same doubles team who denied them victory in the final of the 2012 Australian Open. They were no match for the Bryan twins this time around. The Bryans never faced a break point during the match.
It offered a stark contrast from earlier rounds in Flushing Meadows. Bob used a between-the-legs shot to rescue them in a second set tiebreaker and help the brothers advance past the third round. They also needed to win a pair of tiebreakers in the quarterfinals to keep their title hopes alive.
Consistency at the top has been a hallmark for the Bryans during their doubles career. They have won at least one of the four Grand Slam tournaments each year since 2004. The Bryans have also won each of the Slams at least once during their career.
Before winning their latest U.S. Open title, the Bryans had already reached another personal goal a month ago. They won a gold medal in men's doubles at the 2012 London Olympics. It was the first career Olympic gold medal for the duo.
Even at 34 years old, the Bryan brothers have every intention of putting their doubles record out of reach. They want to compete through the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, so they can successfully defend their gold medal.
It's a safe bet they will add more Grand Slam doubles titles and further solidify their place in the record books between now and 2016.
John Coon has covered tennis at all levels as a sports reporter based in Salt Lake City. Coon was raised in a tennis loving family. All three of his sisters played competitively and he enjoys playing at a recreational level.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan
- Radek Stepanek
- Leander Paes