UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED AS GREATEST DOUBLES TEAM IN TENNIS HISTORY
By James I. Pressley/BB&T Atlanta Open
A record 106 tour titles and counting, 16 Grand Slam titles, 10 years finishing No. 1, 34 ATP Masters 1000 titles, Olympic Gold and Bronze medal winners … are we missing anything?
Bob and Mike Bryan have become universally recognized as the most successful, if not greatest doubles team of all time. Being the only doubles pairing in history to have completed the "Double Career Grand Slam," having won all four Grand Slam titles at least twice as a team and winning the year-end Tennis Masters Cup tournament four times (2003-04, 2009 and 2014), there seems to be no stopping this twin duo, even as they power past their 37th birthdays.
The Bryan brothers are no strangers to the Peach State, for the two have made appearances in Atlanta several times prior to the arrival of the BB&T Atlanta Open.
The Bryans played in the Verizon Tennis Challenge five times at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek from 1996-1998 and 2000-01. It was here in 1998, that the brothers notched their very first ATP Tour win, defeating countrymen Trevor Kronemann and Dave Randall 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. They would go on to reach the quarterfinals before falling to Grant Stafford of South Africa and Kevin Ullyett from Zimbabwe.
After winning over 100 junior titles growing up, the Bryans were awarded full-ride tennis scholarships to Stanford University in 1996. For the next two years, the Bryan brothers helped the Cardinal win the NCAA Division I team title in 1997-98. In their final year of collegiate play, they won the NCAA doubles title, becoming the first brothers to win since Robert and Tom Falkenberg of the University of Southern California in 1946. The brothers would finish the 1998 calendar year ranked No. 1 in collegiate doubles, turning pro shortly afterwards.
In 2003, the Bryan brothers finished No. 1 in ATP Doubles Race for the first time after winning their first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros without dropping a set.
The brothers also made their Davis Cup debut for the U.S. in a World Group playoff tie against Slovakia, defeating Karol Beck and Dominik Hrbaty 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(5). Four years later, the Bryans would win the 2007 Davis Cup, alongside 2012 BB&T Atlanta Open champion Andy Roddick and James Blake.
Today, the Bryan Brothers are synonymous with the most famous chest bump in tennis, their signature celebratory move, an airborne chest bump. Outside of men’s doubles, Bob has won seven Grand Slam mixed titles and Mike with two.
When not on the ATP World Tour, both brothers enjoy playing basketball and have formed their own group, the Bryan Brothers Band, with Bob on keyboards and Mike on drums and guitar. The duo has held concerts at tournaments around the world and provided music for the ATP ‘s “Doubles Revolution” TV commercial and the Tennis Channel program “No Strings.”