Bob and Mike Bryan take the cake with win No. 700
Twins Bob and Mike Bryan used their clever, gifted hands to finish their rewrite job of milestones on their own resume, winning their 700th career match by beating Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, 6-3, 7-6 (3), here in Montreal on Thursday night.
Then they used those same hands to slice pieces of cake –- given to the Bryans by tournament organizers to honor win No. 700 -- and hand them to loyal fans making the journey to remote Court 9 on the grounds on the fall-like summer night.
If they could have given a slice to all of the 225 spectators on hand for the history-making moment, they would have done so. The way the 33-year-old Bryans are going, it might not take them long to get to 800.
(In fact, they needed a mere six games to reach 701 when one of their doubles opponents, Rohan Bopanna, sprained his left ankle in their quarterfinal match on Friday and had to retire.)
"To get 100 wins in a little over a year is pretty remarkable," Bob said. "I guess it’s showed how well we’ve played in the last 12 months. Maybe the best 12 months of our career.
"It seems like we’re getting younger in the age of the doubles player. Ten years ago, 33 would have been ancient. Now it’s on the younger end of the spectrum. We don’t feel like we’re nearing the end of our career. Awhile back, 33 would be, like, ‘OK, we’re shutting it down.' "
Said Mike: "I think we always thought we could make it to 30. That would be great. We couldn’t imagine playing longer than 30. Now there’s no end in sight and we’re still loving what we do."
The Bryans were sitting on the floor of the workout area in the players’ lounge in Montreal on Friday, trading stories, memories and observations with someone who has watched them play on the tour, off and on, for more than a decade.
There were the crushing moments -- three losses in Grand Slam finals in 2005, halted when Bob memorably said their U.S. Open victory prevented them from achieving an "anti-Slam." They had a tough Davis Cup loss to Croatia in Carson and a career-defining moment when they clinched the Davis Cup victory in 2007, beating Russia in the final at Portland.
Who knows? Jackson has 12 NBA championship rings and the Bryans are at 11 Grand Slam doubles titles, with 12 a possibility at the upcoming U.S. Open.
"I guess if we stick around long enough, we’ll kind of be like Brett Favre," Bob said. "Those records will start falling. We’re always focused on the team records and those have kind of fallen and now what’s left are the individuals."
The family dynamic has changed, slightly, and it’s no small thing considering the closeness of the Camarillo-raised twins. Bob moved to Florida after getting married late last year and Mike remains a resident of Southern California.
Mike joked that he was making Bob jealous by sending him pictures and videos of concerts he attended, including the Counting Crows and Room 5. Bob fired back his own volley by sending shots of the beach and ocean in Florida.
"It hasn’t changed anything between Mike and I," Bob said. "The first time we really felt the big change was last week when we had a little time off. He was in California and I was in Florida, which was the first time, and we were like, 'Whoa, we’re pretty far apart.' We were calling each other three times a day."
Added Mike: "I think we wish we were in the same state. We still miss each other and we love jamming and just hanging out. We’re twins. That’s a special bond. So I think we miss each other. I think we’re happiest when we’re sharing the same experiences."
Replied Bob: "It’ll come back. I’ve just gotta convince my wife to get out there."
--Lisa Dillman, reporting from Montreal
Photo: Bob and Mike Bryan are presented a cake and jackets commerating their 700th career doubles victory on Friday night in Montreal. Credit: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images