x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Bryan twins on track to overtake the Woodies

Who is No 1 in men's doubles is a topic rarely broached. In part, because not all that many people care. In part, because the answer for five years has been "the Bryan twins".

Who is No 1 in men's doubles is a topic rarely broached. In part, because not all that many people care. In part, because the answer for five years has been "the Bryan twins".

By winning at Wimbledon over the weekend, Bob and Mike Bryan extended their record for ATP doubles titles to 73. They also pulled level with the Australian pair of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde for most major doubles titles won, 11.

"To equal the Woodies, a team that we idolised, the greatest team in our mind, is unbelievable," Mike said.

The Bryans have won every grand slam doubles title at least once, and have triumphed at the Australian Open five times.

Doubles tennis is the sideshow of the sport, but the Bryans have accrued centre-ring winnings: each has earned more than US$8 million (Dh29.4m) while playing doubles since their 1995 debut.

Theirs is the nearly perfect pairing. Bob is left-handed and Mike is right-handed. Their movements on the court seem to demonstrate both the long duration of their partnership as well as the occasionally eerie anticipation of the other's movements often associated with twins.

They are best friends as well as brothers. The Californians and their partners share a home in Florida. And, at 33, they anticipate playing another five years.

They seem nearly certain to stand alone in major doubles championships before they finish. Said Mike: "We'd love to get to 12 and do it at the US Open."