Commentary

The ridiculous Bryan brothers résumé

Updated: July 2, 2011, 3:43 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

WIMBLEDON, England -- They had played 13 sets in three successive days, and two matches had drifted past four hours. One of them ended at 16-14 in the fifth.

But Friday evening, Bob and Mike Bryan were still their hyperactive selves, bounding up for a rooftop interview after they advanced to the men's doubles final. And when they were done, they said a quick goodbye, then bolted for the locker room in a dead sprint.

Canny veterans that they are, they were determined to beat the inevitable flood of foot traffic when the Rafael Nadal-Andy Murray semifinal match ended.

Yes, we are happy to report, they made it.

Saturday, they crossed off another item on their to-do list:

Tie Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde with 11th Grand Slam title.

Check.

The Bryans handled the No. 8-seeded team of Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (2). Compared to their recent marathon matches, this one was anticlimactic. It might have been their easiest of the fortnight.

The 33-year-old Californians have a to-die-for résumé that includes: five Australian Opens, three U.S. Opens, one Roland Garros and now two Wimbledons -- after previously failing in three of four finals.

"It was an early break in the first two sets, so we got off out of the blocks pretty quick," Mike said. "We're a good front-running team, so that give us a lot of confidence. From yesterday we didn't have a lot in our legs. We knew we had to finish it off in three or four."

Afterward, they held their silver bowls aloft and the formidable Centre Court crowd showered them with warm applause. Oddly, Bob, who is left-handed, carried his with his right hand; Mike, who is right-handed, used his left.

Such is the yin and yang of the game these twins play. They are a complementary force and are on the verge of becoming the greatest men's doubles team ever. If they aren't already.

If the Bryans believe this, they aren't saying it.

"To equal the Woodies, a team that we idolized, the greatest team in our mind, is unbelievable," Mike said. "To get their title record and get the Grand Slam record, I mean, I'm trying to figure out what's left.

"I mean, we'd love to try to get to 12 and do that at the Open, but those guys have been really gracious. They're the first to come up to us and congratulate us. We weren't even thinking about 11 until Mark Woodforde came up and said, 'Congrats on getting that 11th.'"

Last year, the Bryans broke the Woodies' record when they won their 62nd title in Los Angeles. At the time, Woodforde said he thought they were in position to obliterate that mark.

He was right. This was the Bryans' 73rd title. And they show no signs of slowing down. Citing the success of Daniel Nestor, who is 39, they say they want to play another five-plus years. Mike specifically mentioned the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In which case, their records may prove to be untouchable.

"We're still committed to our tennis, and we're working as hard as ever," Bob said. "I'm married. We're still all traveling together. He's got his girl with him 52 weeks out of the year. We're in the same house right now. We're all getting along great, which is good.

"It's not going to change for a while. We're going to be in this meat grinder for another four or five years."

Greg Garber is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Greg Garber

Writer, Reporter
Greg Garber joined ESPN in 1991 and provides reports for NFL Countdown and SportsCenter. He is also a regular contributor to Outside the Lines and a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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