Dethroned From Top Spot, Bryans Reflect On Record Run At No. 1
The ATP World Tour has its share of seemingly untouchable records that have stood the test of time. From Jimmy Connors' 1,254 match wins haul to Guillermo Vilas' single-season record 16 titles, and Roger Federer's 237 consecutive weeks at World No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, many appear to be out of reach.
On the doubles circuit, two stand out above the rest. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan's total weeks atop the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings, at a titanic 439 and 454 respectively, serve as the benchmark for success on the circuit, as does their consecutive weeks amassed at No. 1. For the past 143 weeks - since 25 February, 2013 - the Bryans have assumed the doubles throne. On Monday, their streak comes to an end, as Brazil's Marcelo Melo surpasses the California natives.
"Being No. 1 in the world was always our lifelong dream and to achieve it for the first time in 2003 was one of our proudest moments," Bob told ATPWorldTour.com. "It's something that nobody can ever take away from you and in many ways is more special than winning any individual tournament.
"It always gives us great pride when we're introduced as the No. 1 players in the world. We love that feeling and will always strive to spend as much time there as possible."
It marks the first time since 9 September, 2012 that neither brother has reigned in the top spot. That year, Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi were World No. 1 for 18 weeks. In addition, the Bryans' streak of six consecutive seasons at year-end World No. 1 is in jeopardy. Nenad Zimonjic finished the year atop the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings in 2008.
"Being at the top spot in the Emirates ATP Rankings is an honour and a sacred spot reserved for players who sacrifice a lot to reach it," Mike added. "Staying there is even more difficult because you have a target on your back, and pressure and expectation shift. Bob and I have always pushed each other to improve, sometimes using brutal honesty, and this has helped us maintain our high standard for so many years. Without David Macpherson, who has been an enormous positive force on and off the court, this wouldn't have been possible."
Despite being dethroned and failing to win a Grand Slam title in a season for the first time since 2004, Bob and Mike have set the bar on the doubles circuit this year, with six ATP World Tour titles including three at the Masters 1000 level. At No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Race To London, they have qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for a 14th successive season and will bid to claim their fifth title at the season finale in two weeks.