Starting the year with their 50th title
Bryans Win 50th ATP World Tour Title
Four-time ATP World Tour champions Bob and Mike Bryan defeated top rivals Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic 6-1, 7-6(3) on Saturday to capture their 50th career ATP World Tour title at the Medibank International – an ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament in Sydney.
The American duo becomes only the fourth team in the Open Era to win at least 50 titles, joining Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (61), Peter Fleming and John McEnroe (57), and Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan (57). They have a 50-33 record in ATP World Tour finals.
The Americans were unbroken in the 62-minute match and converted two of seven break points on their opponents’ serve in front of a big crowd on the Ken Rosewall Arena. In the semi-finals they knocked out No. 3 seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles.
The 30 year olds played out an intense rivalry with Nestor and Zimonjic on the ATP World Tour season that culminated in a loss for the Americans in a winner-take-all Tennis Masters Cup Shanghai final in November, awarding Nestor-Zimonjic the title and the year-end No. 1 ATP Doubles Team Ranking.
“When we lost that match last year, it really gave us extra motivation to work hard in the off-season,” said Mike Bryan. “We came here pretty excited, and we played every match this week with a lot of energy. We worked on a few things and it paid off today. We're really happy and excited. It's a great preparation for the Aussie Open.”
“It definitely feels good to always avenge any loss,” added Bob. "But this is a really tough team, and we're looking forward to many finals in the future. They're going to be tough on any surface. We all know each other so well that just little tweaks are going to make the difference every time.”
It marks the first title in Sydney for the Bryans, who have twice before finished runner-up - in 2004 (l. to Bjorkman-Woodbridge) and last season (l. to Gasquet-Tsonga). They improved to a 14-6 event record.
“Ten years playing down here and to get it (the title) when we're 30 years old, it feels good,” said Mike. "When we're dead and gone we'll be up on that board and be remembered with some of the greats. It's good to be on the Sydney champions' board with some of our idols: Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.”
Individually, both 36-year-old Nestor and 32-year-old Zimonjic also have strong records in Sydney. Canadian Nestor was making his fifth career finals appearance with as many partners (2-2), having captured titles in 1999 (w/Lareau) and 2001 (w/Stolle). He also was runner-up in 1998 (w/Eltingh) and 2007 (w/Knowles). Serbian Zimonjic won the title in 2006 with Fabrice Santoro.
Last season, the top two teams captured five titles each – the best on the ATP World Tour. Nestor and Zimonjic compiled a 5-3 mark in finals, while the Bryan twins went 5-7 in title matches.
It is the second final loss in as many weeks for Nestor and Zimonjic, who finished runner-up to Spaniards Marc Lopez and Rafael Nadal at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha last week.