4:07 pm - Tuesday November 3, 2015

Bryan brothers win 5th US Open title, 16th major

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Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan

For their 100th tournament title, the Bryan brothers broke out a new victory celebration.

Not that they planned it this way. The twins were so excited to win their first Grand Slam championship in more than a year that they botched their signature chest bump at Sunday’s U.S. Open final.

Mike wound up leaping into Bob’s arms after they beat 11th-seeded Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez 6-3, 6-4.

“I don’t think we have ever done this kind of ‘Dirty Dancing’ swan dive,” said Mike, who faulted his brother for not lifting off. “That was a first.”

“You felt light as a feather,” Bob teased him.

Nothing was going to faze them after they tied a record with their fifth U.S. Open men’s doubles title. Richard Sears and James Dwight also won five way back in the 1880s.

The Bryans now own the Open-era mark, moving ahead of Bob Lutz and Stan Smith. It’s also the brothers’ 16th major championship, extending their record.

“I was having flashbacks to my whole career towards the end of that match,” Bob said. “It was wild. I was thinking juniors, college.”

They played their first tournament at age 6 in Agoura Hills, California, when they met in the novice singles final and won the doubles. The trophies have piled up since- NCAA championships, Olympic gold medals.

But the top-ranked Bryans hadn’t celebrated one of these Grand Slam titles since 2013 Wimbledon, an eternity by their standards. They were in danger of finishing a year without a major championship for the first time since 2004.

Back at their home Grand Slam event, the 36-year-old Americans ended the drought.

Asked if they believed in karma, Mike joked, “We pick up trash when we see litter on the street.”

After tough three-set victories in their past two matches, they controlled play against Granollers and Lopez, who beat them in the French Open quarters en route to the Spaniards’ first Grand Slam final.

“It was kind of our best match of the tournament against a really tough team that posed a lot of challenges,” Mike said.

About the only thing that went wrong Sunday was during their post-match news conference, when Mike tried to beckon to Bob’s 2-year-old daughter Micaela to join them on the podium. She took a few hesitant steps forward then burst into tears while her little brother, Bobby Jr., babbled away.

Their dad and uncle have long said they plan to play through the 2016 Olympics, though they won’t promise they’ll retire then.

“No exit strategy,” Mike said.

They already owned by far the most tournament titles of the Open era, which started in 1968. Now they’ve achieved a nice round number.

“It’s always sweet winning a Grand Slam,” Mike said. “This just adds some extra whip cream and cherries and nuts on top.”

 

 

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