Alexa

Bryan brothers win second straight Australian Open doubles title

Bryan brothers win second straight Australian Open doubles title

No chest bump, just a big hug.
American twins Bob and Mike Bryan skipped their usual celebration ritual on Saturday but were jubilant anyway after grabbing their fifth Grand Slam men's doubles title by beating Jonas Bjorkman and Max Mirnyi 7-5, 7-5 at the Australian Open.
"It's great to come out and start this year well," Bob Bryan said. "Winning that first one is awesome."
It was the Bryans' fourth straight appearance in the Australian Open final and their second consecutive win.
"To come down here and get to the finals four years in a row, to defend our first ... that's special," Bryan said.
Tour veterans Bjorkman and Mirnyi were seeded second to the Bryans' No. 1, and came into the match with a 4-4 win-loss record against the brothers but with three straight wins, including last year's French Open final.
But Mike Bryan's powerful serve helped the brothers to dominate the match, and Bjorkman and Mirnyi scrambled to save five championship points in the last game before Bob Bryan slammed a forehand winner to seal the win.
"I want to congratulate these guys," Bryan said. "They are both friends of ours, they're great doubles players, they are both legends. We were lucky today."
The match had some unconventional at-the-net play. At 0-40 down at 4-4 in the first set, Mirnyi flicked a volley behind his back and followed it up with a more conventional backhand volley to win the point. But the Bryans held serve with the next point.
Bjorkman, 34, from Sweden, and Mirnyi, 29, from Belarus, never managed a break point, but doggedly defended on the big points against the top-ranked Bryans.
Serving at 5-6, Bjorkman consistently delivered strong serves into the back corners, setting up several fast-paced rallies at the net as all the players came forward. Mirnyi saved the second match point when he knocked a reflex volley off his frame and down the middle.
But the pressure finally told on the No. 2-ranked team. Bjorkman double-faulted to set up the Bryan's fifth match point. Mirnyi saved it with a volley, but then set up the deciding point with a volley that went long.
Mirnyi and Bjorkman were able to put pressure on Bob Bryan's serve, reaching to 15-30 at 4-4 in the first set. But the brothers lifted and scored three points straight to win the game.
"We've been playing together since we were five years old," Mike Bryan said. "We're a lefty-righty combination. Bob is a huge server; I'm a pretty good returner.
"We just wing it now. We've played so many matches that we kind of read each other's minds."
Mirnyi paid tribute to the brothers.
"A tough one for us, but once again a wonderful effort for the bros," he said.
The Bryans, born two minutes apart in Camarillo, California, have come to dominate men's doubles in the past few years. The pair completed a career Grand Slam at Wimbledon last year, and Saturday was their 10th appearance in a Grand Slam final.
Bjorkman, whose best performances in singles include semifinal appearances at the U.S. Open in 1997 and Wimbledon last year, hinted he was considering his future after 15 years on the tour.
"It's been many years now, and who knows, hopefully one more," he said. "We will see how it goes throughout the year."