Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
The greatest doubles team of all-time?
The Bryan Brother Twins have made their case, and continue to do so.
**A history-making 62 professional men's doubles titles . . .
**A 618-214 men's doubles record since turning professional . . .
**Eight (8) Grand Slam men's doubles titles and counting . . .
Born just two minutes apart in their native California, Mike and Bob Bryan, ages 32, have set a new standard of excellence and dedication to the game of doubles in tennis. And if they remain healthy, the Bryans will probably enjoy many more years of competition and victories with their trademark chest-thumps and serve-blasts.
The Bryans have probably done more than anyone to keep tennis doubles alive and well and thriving in the age of singles. This has prompted many commentators to call them not only extraordinary players but transformational figures in the sport of doubles.
In the words of noted sports writer Peter Bodo: "The Bryans brought an entirely new level of dedication and passion to doubles, serving as competitors as well as advocates and impresarios. Their extreme work ethic and unapologetic zest for the game opened eyes and demanded respect as well as attention."
Mike Bryan has commented: "We think that today doubles is a strong game. When we see a couple of juniors doing a chest bump, or some kid comes up to tell us that he and his partner just won a junior doubles event, we take pride in that. Right now, there are no low-skill doubles players around, and with the singles players playing more doubles, the game keeps getting better—and we need to keep improving as well."
A few tributes from other players:
Daniel Nestor: "They are the face of doubles. They’ve pretty much been the No. 1 team for 10 years. When people think of doubles they think of the Bryans. They are fun to watch."
Nenad Zimonjic: "It’s an incredible record and today it’s more and more difficult to keep winning that many tournaments."
Mark Knowles: "Congratulations to them. It’s quite a feat . . . It reflects how successful they’ve been. More important than the record is how much they have done for the game of doubles. They are both great ambassadors on and off the court and it’s fitting that they have broken the record."
James Blake: "Those guys are sure-fire Hall Of Famers. They have an excitement level on the court and the fans appreciate it. It's such a unique opportunity to see twins play that well with complementing styles of plays and abilities . . . I love watching them when they're on my Davis Cup team. They just punish people. It's a lot of fun to watch from the sidelines."
Andy Murray: "What they've achieved in doubles has been incredible. It's amazing . . . They're really, really good for tennis."
What makes them so good? And what can we mere mortals learn from their play? (Well, many observers and commentators say this:)
**A continuous positive energy for the entire match - they "out-energize" their opponents from start to finish
**Moving together on the court as a team at all times
**Constant communication between each other, in order to work together and complement each other
**Letting go of the last point immediately, and moving on the next
Lessons for life, as well as tennis.
Congratulations and well done, Bryans!
Tribute to the Bryan Brother Twins