US OPEN 2013
Paes & Stepanek End Bryans' Grand Slam Dream
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek avenged their loss to Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in last year's US Open final with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory Thursday at the US Open, which ended the brothers’ quest to win a calendar year Grand Slam. In the final the veterans will meet second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.
The Bryans started in hot form, dropping just one point on serve in the opening set. But Stepanek dramatically lifted his game in the final two sets and Paes was at his brilliant best at the net with his lightning-quick hands.
The Bryans were looking to become the first doubles team to capture the calendar year Grand Slam since 1951.
Bob Bryan said, "As competitors we hate to lose, and we knew what was riding on this match and the opportunity of what we could have accomplished. And then in one sense it's a little bit of a relief where you get to kind of exhale for the first time in a few months. All of this Grand Slam talk has been in the back of our head, and it's been an honour to be a part of this run with Mike. It's been a great 12 months.
"Those guys played a great match and we wish them luck in the finals."
Mike Bryan said: "We're pretty fortunate to have this opportunity. [We] played three matches on Arthur Ashe Stadium in a row. Played our third round out there on TV, which doesn't happen pretty much ever in doubles. The crowds were great. Twenty-eight matches in a row in Grand Slams might not ever happen again, [but] we feel like we did all we can do. Probably never going to have another shot at it."
Paes paid tribute to Stepanek for overcoming a slow start to play an exceptional match. "The [Bryans] played a perfect first set that could have turned really quick in their favor, but we managed to come back in the second.
"I can't say enough about my partner. We have got a little bit more work to do this week, but what he has been through this year, both him and I know. For me that will come with me to my grave and I will always be with him in his corner no matter where we go in our lives, no matter what we do.
"Radek had an injury in the Australian Open, went through spinal surgery in his neck, and has got a few little battle wounds right now to show for it. He looks as tough as anybody, but the way he's recovered, the way he's done his rehab, the way he's stayed with it, to me, along with some other adversities this year, shows off a great champion that he is."
The Bryans became the first team to hold all four Grand Slam doubles titles at the same time in the Open Era after winning their third Wimbledon title in July to add to their 2012 US Open, 2013 Australian Open and Roland Garros doubles crowns. They also completed a ‘Golden Bryan Slam’ as they won the gold medal in the men’s doubles at the London 2012 Olympic last summer.
Aussies Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman are the only doubles pair to have won more consecutive men’s doubles titles. They hold the all-time record having won the doubles title at seven straight Grand Slam tournaments from the 1951 Australian Open – 1952 Wimbledon.
Soares teamed with Austrian Peya to defeat Brazilian Davis Cup team mate Marcelo Melo and Croatia’s Ivan Dodig 7-5, 6-4. Peya and Soares are second in this year’s Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings and recently won the Rogers Cup in Montreal.