On Wednesday, Mike and Bob Bryan–known as the Bryan Brothers–announced that they will retire at the 2020 US Open. The pair have had a glittering career which has seen them win over 100 titles and spent a combined 438 weeks at #1, finishing year-end #1 a whopping ten times.
Together, the pair has won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles, including each Major at least twice. They have not won a major together since 2014, though. While Bob was out with a hip injury, Mike did win two Majors in 2018 while partnering with Jack Sock.
The pair are widely considered to be the greatest men’s doubles team of all time. Part of what made them such an effective pairing was the fact that they were a lefty/righty combination, with Bob being left-handed and Mike being right-handed. Together, they dominated men’s doubles for over a decade under the tutelage of coach David McPherson, reaching a record seven consecutive Grand Slam finals in a row.
Other career highlights include the twins winning 39 ATP Masters 1000 titles and the Gold Medal at the London Olympics 2012.
However, as well as together as a pair, both brothers had success at mixed doubles, with Bob winning seven mixed doubles Grand Slam titles and Mike winning four.
Mike Bryan, 41, says on Tennis Channel that he and Bob, who qualified for London but are skipping it, plan to retire in New York next year:
"2020 at the Open, we're going to shut it down."
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) November 13, 2019
Bryan Brothers advancing the sport
Of the court, the pair have been great ambassadors for the game. They have expressed their aim of continuing to grow the doubles game, which isn’t giving even a fraction of the airtime of singles matches. When both were on court it was incredible to watch. Bob is known for his bomb of a lefty serve, and Mike for his killer return. It could be argued, with no disrespect to other players, that the Bryans kept interest alive in the doubles game even at its lowest moments.
With the introduction of deciding point deuces, interest has returned to the doubles game with singles players often teaming up at Masters events. However, it is a shame that at modern tournaments, even at the Nitto ATP Finals, doubles is often thought by casual fans as as a warmup to the singles matches. These players deserve more respect for their craft.
The Bryan Brothers May be hanging up their rackets, but the legacy they will leave behind will cement them as all time greats of the game.
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