Defeat forces defiant Bryan brothers back into the gym

  • @stevetongue

After 26 Grand Slam finals, it might be expected that the Californian twins Mike and Bob Bryan, the most successful doubles pairing in the history of tennis, can treat victory and defeat much the same. Not a bit of it, which could help explain their success and insatiable desire for more of it.

After the top seeds were unexpectedly beaten in Saturday’s final by the unseeded pair of Jack Sock, also an American, and Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, Bob Bryan said: “You walk around in a fog for a couple days. That’s when you can get sick – you play three and a half hours on the court, you’re body’s broken down, then you go back home and you can’t sleep, and you’re looking at your phone until 5am.”

The twins have won 15 majors, and this 11th loss in a final, by 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, means they will go into the US Open needing a win to avoid finishing a first season since 2004 without a Grand Slam success. The response was defiant. Mike said: “We usually bounce back. It’s going to motivate us to hit the gym.”

Pospisil and Sock had never played together before this tournament and the Canadian admitted: “At the time we were talking about playing [together], I was still having back troubles, so I wasn’t sure if I’d be healthy to play. He took the risk, and said OK.”

Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci added the Wimbledon women’s doubles title to their previous Australian, French and American wins when they beat Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets. 

The United States has had a bad tournament in singles but two American youngsters contested the boys’ final, in which the 18-year-old qualifier Noah Rubin beat his friend, the 16-year-old New Yorker Stefan Kozlov, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. 

“I was thinking I could possibly lose the first round of qualifying playing a big server that day,” Rubin recalled. “It was just point by point, match by match. Eight matches later, this is where I am.”

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, unseeded, upset the eighth seed Kristina Schmiedlova from Slovakia in coming from behind to take the girls’ singles title 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, no doubt aware that Eugenie Bouchard won it only two years ago before reaching this year’s women’s final.

In the mixed doubles final, Nenad Zimonjic and Samantha Stosur beat Max Mirnyi and Hao-Ching Chan  6-4, 6-2.