LONDON – The Bryan brothers got big air Saturday at Wimbledon.
Yes, there was a little more room than usual between their feet and the ground for their latest version of the “Bryan Bump” — the chest bump they use to celebrate victories — because of what that victory meant.
Their 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo wrapped up the Bryan Slam, making the 35-year-old identical twins from California the first men’s doubles team in the open era of tennis to hold all four major titles at the same time.
“It just feels like we’re adding nuts and whipped cream and cherries to our great career,” Bob Bryan said. “We said that a few years ago: If we retire today, we feel like we’ve done it all. Let’s go have some fun and add to whatever this is.”
They have 15 Grand Slam tournament victories, improving on the record they broke at the Australian Open when they passed John Newcombe and Tony Roche as the winningest men’s pairing ever.
It’s their third Wimbledon title, and it made the Bryans the first team to hold all the slams along with an Olympic gold medal.
If they win the U.S. Open in September, they’ll join Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman as the second men’s team to complete a calendar Grand Slam. The Aussies did it in 1951, 17 years before the Open era began, and won seven consecutive titles before the streak was snapped at the 1952 U.S. Open.
“I didn’t think anything could feel as sweet as the gold medal but this one just feels like there’s a cap, a lid, or a ribbon around our career,” Mike Bryan said. “It’s pretty cool.
“It’s something we never dreamed of, to try to win four in a row. It’s too hard to dominate in doubles. Maybe we had a little luck involved along the way. We just took them one at a time. It just added up.”
Taking Centre Court against a new doubles pairing of Dodig, a Croatian, and Melo, a Brazilian, the top-seeded Bryan brothers came out shaky. Lowlighted by a whiff on a volley attempt by Mike, they fell behind 5-0 and lost the first set.
But they got a pair of breaks in the second to even things up, then got a break apiece in the next two sets for the win. The final break came when Mike, the right-hander, hit a forehand down the middle for a clean winner, then high-stepped it off the court to the sideline for a final change of ends.
His brother served out the match, and after match point — a 129-mph ace — the brothers jumped as high as they can remember while performing their chest bump.