Bryan Brothers Will Retire From Tennis After 2020 U.S. Open

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, the twins who are far and away the most successful American men in professional tennis over the past two decades, announced Wednesday that they planned to end their careers at next year’s United States Open.

Starting at the 2003 French Open, the Bryans have won 16 Grand Slam doubles titles together, most recently at the 2014 U.S. Open. They also won Olympic gold together in 2012. An American man has not won a Grand Slam singles title since Andy Roddick at the 2003 U.S. Open.

The Bryans, 41, have not competed on tour since the U.S. Open in September, stepping off the carousel of the tour for recuperation and contemplation. They qualified for the elite year-end ATP Finals this week in London, but chose to skip it.

“Mentally, physically, we wanted to get together, reflect on our career, and then make a big decision,” Mike Bryan said in a joint appearance Wednesday afternoon on Tennis Channel. “We wanted to see if we wanted to keep going, and we decided that 2020 at the Open, we’re going to shut it down. So, one more season, and we’re excited for it.”

The Bryans’ was the third high-profile retirement announcement this week. Earlier Wednesday, Tomas Berdych seemed to confirm reports in Czech news media that he was planning to announce his retirement on Saturday in London, saying on social media that he was disappointed that the “surprise” had been lost.

Berdych, 34, reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in 2015 and was a Grand Slam finalist once, at Wimbledon in 2010. He last played at the U.S. Open, where he lost in the first round to the qualifier Jenson Brooksby, who was 18 at the time.

Dominika Cibulkova, who reached the final of the 2014 Australian Open and won the 2016 WTA Finals, also announced her retirement this week, prompted by a recurring injury to her left Achilles’ tendon. Cibulkova, 30, reached a career-high ranking of No. 4 in 2017.

This wave of retirements may presage more departures: most of the game’s top stars —including Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova — are all in their 30s, which only recently has become a common age on tour.

Though careers for doubles specialists generally last longer than those of singles players, the Bryans have spoken openly about retirement for several years.

“We’ve been on tour for 21 seasons, more than half our life,” Bob Bryan said Wednesday. “Tennis is in our blood. A part of us, it feels like, is dying. But we’re really clear about this decision. It’s going to be great to have a finish line.”

The Bryans looked finished midway through last year. After Bob went down with a potentially career-ending hip injury in Madrid in May, Mike said farewells to reporters at the French Open a few weeks later, suggesting he had played his last match.

But Mike played on, uniting with Jack Sock to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and ATP Finals in the second half of the season. That run put Mike’s overall haul of Grand Slam men’s doubles titles two ahead of Bob’s, 18-16, though Bob has seven mixed doubles titles and Mike has four.

After Bob had successful hip resurfacing surgery, he worked his way back to tour, inspiring Andy Murray to make a return attempt after dealing with a similar issue. The Bryans reunited on court this year, winning two titles, in Miami and Delray Beach, Fla.

“We want to go out together,” Mike said Wednesday on Tennis Channel, grabbing Bob’s arm to show their connection. “It’s great that he came back on his own terms, and now we can finish this thing. We really want to play hard next year, give it our best shot to finish strong, but also to play with the love and the passion that we had when we turned pro.”

Source: Read Full Article