US OPEN 2012
Bryans Triumph Over Paes/Stepanek; Surpass Woodies' Record
New York, U.S.A.
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Second seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan defeated No. 5 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4 in the US Open doubles final on Friday to break the Open Era record for the most Grand Slam team titles. With their 12th major trophy, the Bryans passed Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde and tied John Newcombe and Tony Roche for the all-time record.
“When you're in the heat of the moment you don't want to think about that stuff. We're just trying to win the Grand Slam,” Mike Bryan said. “And now that we could chill a little bit, it's fun to have it. We looked up to the Woodies, and to break some of their records is unbelievable, because we idolise those guys. They're one of the reasons we play doubles. Just to be mentioned with those guys is pretty special. But to have a huge record like the Grand Slam record is really cool.”
Looking to avenge their Australian Open final loss to Paes and Stepanek, the American twins relied on well placed first serves and a high percentage to remain the steadier team. After missing four break point opportunities on Stepanek’s serve in the second game of the match, the Bryans broke for a 4-2 lead the second time around on the Czech’s serve, utilising their defensive skills to block back several overheads, as their fifth lob resulted in Paes smashing the ball into the net. Mike Bryan served out the first set to love.
The Bryans wasted no time in keeping the momentum going, breaking Stepanek to begin the second set when the 33 year old netted an overhead. All four players on the court showcased their ability to change pace and direction at the net with their quick, soft hands, but the Bryans never allowed their opponents to get involved on return, facing zero break points. They finished off the match in 91 minutes to improve to 3-2 against Paes and Stepanek in 2012 and extended their streak of winning at least one Grand Slam title in every season since 2005.
“We weren't thinking too much about revenge today,” said Bob Bryan. “We were just thinking about playing a good match and executing the scouting report our coach gave us and winning our home slam in front of all these fans that were pumping us up the whole day.”
With the triumph, the Bryans equalled Robert Lutz and Stan Smith’s Open Era record with four US Open team trophies, adding to successes in 2005, 2008 and 2010. They have won six titles this season, highlighted by the completion of a career Golden Slam at the London 2012 Olympics (d. Llodra/Tsonga) and titles at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo and Toronto. Mike Bryan tied Woodbridge’s Open Era record of 83 doubles titles. Currently first in the Doubles Team Race to London, the Camarillo, Calif. natives will also overtake Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor for the No. 1 ATP Doubles Ranking on Monday.
Paes was bidding to win his eighth men’s doubles Grand Slam title in his 15th major final. Stepanek was contesting his second final at Flushing Meadows, following a runner-up finish in 2002 with countryman Jiri Novak.
In their third-round match, the Bryans were two points from being eliminated from the tournament against Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky at 5-all in a second set tie-break before turning the match around to win 6-7(6), 7-6(6), 6-3.
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