Bob and Mike—popularly referred to as the Bryan brothers at the skilled tennis excursion and thought to be the best doubles pair within the recreation—have been for a exchange staring at the USA Open on tv, having introduced their retirement days previous to the event.
The equivalent twins felt surreal staring at a Grand Slam ultimate in a near-empty Arthur Ashe Stadium amid the pandemic and may handiest consider the power of the group including to the ebb and drift of the topsy-turvy closing set and tie-breaker of the Dominic Thiem-Alexander Zverev conflict on Sunday.
“You’ve seen over the years how crowds have driven some of the finals to insane levels,” Bob mentioned in a chat on Monday. “I would’ve been interested to see how the crowds would’ve reacted to what we saw in the final yesterday. It was high drama. I was feeling the nerves for those guys, both going for their first Slam wins.”
The brothers themselves performed in 20 Majors ahead of they in the end held the primary in their report 16 Slam doubles titles on the 2003 French Open. The duo may thus relate to how Thiem, who’s achieved his justifiable share of ready within the queue ahead of successful his maiden singles name, felt. Now that the 27-year-old Austrian has were given his first name, Mike believes anticipating a exchange of guard after the dominance of the ‘Big Three’—Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer—is life like.
“I think he (Thiem) is one of the hardest working guys on the tour. I mean watching him in the gym, he literally kills himself for hours and hours. And all that work finally paid off,” Mike mentioned. “I think they both saw a huge opportunity with none of the ‘Big Three’ in there, but he’s a Grand Slam champion now and no one can take that away from him.
“This is maybe a changing of the guard. Now that he’s got that monkey off his back, I’m sure he’ll play a lot looser in Grand Slam finals. I don’t think he played his best match maybe because of all the weight of expectations. Now it releases all that pressure. The same thing happened with Bob and I—it took a few years for us to get that first Grand Slam but once we did, we found that formula. Everything becomes a little easier then.”
This distinctive US Open was once additionally as a lot concerning the new males’s singles champion in six years because it was once concerning the coming of age of Naomi Osaka, off and on the courtroom.
The 22-year-old Japanese-American no longer handiest stamped her standing as the way forward for ladies’s tennis with a new-found calmness and adulthood in her recreation but additionally proved a role style together with her activism over Black Lives Matter.
She received hearts and captured world consideration by way of dressed in seven other mask in every of her suits bearing the names of sufferers of racial injustice and police brutality in the USA. Bob applauded her for status up for what she in reality believed in.
“She’s a great role model,” Bob mentioned. “She stands up for what she believes in. She conducts herself great on the court and she has an exciting game to watch. A lot of kids can really look up to her. And she’s just getting started; she’s got many great years ahead of her. I think she’ll become more consistent now. And all the stuff she did with the activism and the Black Lives Matter, it was a strong message that she put out there. Massive respect for standing up for what she believes in.”
(Interview courtesy Sony Pictures Sports Network)