By Helene Elliott
7:43 PM CDT, July 6, 2013
WIMBLEDON, England — Mike and Bob Bryan of Camarillo felt relaxed before they faced Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil for the Wimbledon men's doubles title Saturday. Then the top-seeded twins reached Centre Court and realized they were one victory from becoming the first duo to own all four Grand Slam titles at the same time in the Open era.
"Once we got out there it kind of was sinking in, like this is weird," Mike said. "I started off a little tight. I never whiffed a volley before."
"Yeah, I knew we were in trouble when you whiffed that volley," Bob said.
They struggled to find their rhythm but regrouped to win, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. They celebrated with a trademark chest bump, a ritual they began at Stanford, and they got big air for 35-year-olds after a long tournament.
"I didn't think anything could feel as sweet as the gold medal, but this one just feels like there's a cap, a lid, or a ribbon around our career," Mike said, comparing the victory Saturday to their Olympic triumph in London last August.
"It's pretty cool. It's something we never dreamed of, to try to win four in a row. It's too hard to dominate in doubles. Maybe we had a little luck involved along the way."
The Bryans, who hope to go for Olympic gold again at Rio in 2016, said perspective is fueling their success. Both are married and Bob has a child.
"We have everything. Everything now feels like a bonus," Bob said. "It just feels like we're adding nuts and whipped cream and cherries to our great career."
Bob also lamented the disappearance of a major tour event from Los Angeles, saying he and his brother were inspired as kids by seeing star players compete. "Hopefully that L.A. Tennis Challenge becomes a premier event and fans keep getting to come and see great tennis at least once a year and kids get to see exhibitions," he said of the fledgling event.
Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei and Shaui Peng of China won the women's doubles title with a 7-6 (1), 6-1 victory over Australians Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.
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