(January 23, 2013) -- Mike and Bob Bryan are no stranger to success in Australian Open doubles semifinals matches -- they’ve reached the finals down under in eight of the last nine years and nabbed five titles in the process.
What they are strangers to is owning sole possession of the all-time record for Grand Slam doubles titles, but that could change by the end of the week.
The Camarillo, California natives broke the Open Era record with their 12th Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open in 2012, and they are looking to start the year off by passing John Newcombe and Tony Roche for their lucky 13th Grand Slam title, which would make them the all-time title leaders.
The Bryans ousted Daniele Bracciali and Lukas Dlouhy in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, 6-3, 7-5. It was by no means a breezy quarterfinal, as the twins had to secure late breaks in each set to keep the Italian-Czech pairing at bay, with Mike Bryan hammering break point return winners to put the Americans ahead in both sets.
The Bryans will take on the unseeded all-Italian tandem of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini in the semifinals.
In the other doubles semifinal, the 3rd-seeded Spanish tandem of Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez will face unseeded Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands. The Spanish duo ousted Benoit Paire and Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-1 to reach their second consecutive Grand Slam semifinal. Both the Spanish and the Dutch semifinalists were taken to three sets in their first-round encounters, but neither team has lost a set since.
The Bryans, who have won at least one Grand Slam title in each of the last eight years, have ended eight of the past ten years as No. 1 in the world while simultaneously increasing their ever growing list of career milestones. Their 82 career doubles titles as a team is the most all-time; They are the only team in the Open Era to have won more than 700 matches, and they are rapidly approaching 800; They own the record for most weeks at No. 1, with a combined 610 between them.
With their sights set on retiring after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, there is plenty of time for the Bryans to tack on more milestones. They’ll look to do just that when they play Thursday’s first day session match on Rod Laver Arena against the unseeded Italians.
Granollers and Lopez will play the second match on Margaret Court Arena against Haase and Sijsling.
(Photo Credit: Mark Peterson/ Corleve)