LONDON -- Stephen Huss and Wesley Moodie became the first qualifiers to win the Wimbledon men's doubles title on Saturday by beating American twins Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
While South African Moodie, 26, reached the third round in
the singles at the All England Club in 2003, Huss was, until
now, virtually unknown even in his native Australia.
"I know it's real with all the feelings that I'm having,"
Huss said. "I know it's not a dream."
Reaching the heights of 807 in the world back in 2001, Huss
has never played a grand slam singles match, concentrating
instead on doubles.
The 29-year-old said he had considered quitting the sport
before the start of the tournament.
"I'll be 30 in December ... I wasn't able to compete in grand slams; to play at challenger level doesn't really inspire me." he said.
"I was definitely looking at other options and what else I
Huss and Moodie had never stepped on court together in a tour level event before this tournament and were delighted just to get into the main draw.
"We qualified, it was a bit of a relief to at least make it
through," said Moodie, who added that his half of the 218,500
pounds ($389,200) prize check would be going on a new house.
After coming through the two qualifying rounds the pairing
claimed some notable scalps on the way to the final.
Nine-time Wimbledon doubles champion Todd Woodbridge
announced his retirement following his defeat to the debutants
with Mahesh Bhupathi in the second round and in the semifinal
they beat the defending champion Jonas Bjorkman with his new
partner Max Mirnyi.
Now one half of a grand slam champion doubles team,
journeyman Huss is still struggling to come to terms with the
"I'm definitely surprised to be Wimbledon champion," he
said. "I've been here and I've been trying and I've been playing
and hoping for something like this to happen."