The world No. 1 doubles team of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan won their 10th Grand Slam championship this past Saturday, defeating Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, 6-3, 6-4, to capture their third straight Australian Open title.
"It never gets old," said Bob Bryan. "Especially to play those two guys, the 'Indian Express', who we have tons of respect for. We were jacked up for this match. These two guys are legends. It was an extra special feeling out there on the court playing two guys that dominated the game 10 years ago."
Victory in Melbourne marked the fifth Australian Open triumph for the Bryan boys, who also won back-to-back trophies in 2006-2007 and 2009-2010; they were contesting their sixth Australian Open final in seven years after finishing runners-up in 2004-2005. They have an astonishing 43-3 record in Australia over the past 8 years.
With 10 major titles, the 32-year-old Bryan twins moved to within just one trophy of matching Open Era leaders Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. Their 18 appearances in Grand Slam finals is the most by any team in the Open Era.
"It's nice to hit double digits. That number, [the Woodies'] 11 Grand Slams. That's motivating us," declared Mike.
The Americans, who won 11 tour-level titles in 2010, brought their career tally to 68. They broke the Open Era record (which was previously held by Woodbridge and Woodforde) when they won their 62nd title in Los Angeles, California last August.
The Bryans clinched their team career Grand Slam at 2006 Wimbledon and denied Bhupathi and Paes the chance to complete the feat as individuals with victory in a mere 68 minutes. While Paes was explosive early in the encounter, strong serving from the Bryans neutralized Bhupathi.
After Bob Bryan rallied from 0-40 to hold serve in the first game, the top seeds broke in the sixth game to clinch the first set. They then made a crucial breakthrough at 4-4 in the second set and in serving out victory, saved a break point when Bob Bryan aced Bhupathi for the sixth time in the match.
"That first game was huge," reflected Mike. "We were down 0-40. That set the tone of the match. If we got broken there, could have been a different story. Bob especially served well. He served Mahesh really tough, and Mahesh is a great returner. He kind of just took him out of the match. It always starts with serving for us. If we serve well, that's our game."
"We had a great couple of weeks," reflected Paes. "Today we lost to the best team on the planet who played lights out today. I thought they played the perfect match. As far as Mahesh and myself are concerned, a great two weeks."
Added Bhupathi: "If they can serve 83 per cent and make returns like they did on big points, it's very tough to beat them. That's why they've won 10 Grand Slams, they've won here three years in a row."
We’re certainly going to be looking forward to the Bryans run for the record titles and we wish them the best of luck in the coming months!