Bryan Brothers Back In Business With Sixth Miami Title
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan made it clear they’re back in top form on Saturday by winning their sixth doubles title at Miami Open presented by Itau. The third seeds defended their crown by saving four set points in the second-set tie-break to defeat Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, 7-5, 7-6(6).
“Bob’s been through a lot on the couch. To have him back at full strength and winning here in Miami, [our] hometown, with all the friends and family support is unreal,” said Mike. “This is a special event for us and to defend it is amazing.”
The Bryans picked up their 39th ATP Masters 1000 title and 118th tour-level doubles title as a team. Bob returned to action in January after missing eight months due to a hip injury that he underwent hip replacement surgery for last August. They won their first title in Bob’s comeback last month at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com (d. Skupski/Skupski).
“A doctor was cutting me open eight months ago and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to make it back on court,” said Bob. “To win this title is a dream and certainly wasn’t possible eight months ago. This is huge for us.”
The Americans didn’t have it easy in their road to the title. They needed a Match Tie-break to win their second-round clash with Franko Skugor and Nicolas Jarry, and saved four match points in their semi-final victory over top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo.
Despite the loss, Koolhof/Tsitsipas can be pleased with their run. Koolhof had never won a match at a Masters 1000 event and Tsitsipas entered Miami with a 3-12 record in ATP Tour doubles events.
The Bryans dropped just six points on serve in the opening set (24/30) and weren’t pushed to deuce, but applied constant pressure in their return games. Koolhof saved a pair of break points in each of his first two service games and Tsitsipas battled through two break points at 1-1. But with the Dutchman serving at 5-5, the Bryans made good on their seventh chance and comfortably held in the next game to take the early advantage.
Both teams held serve throughout the second set to force a tie-break, but it was Koolhof who played the point of the match in the sixth game of the set. The Dutchman landed a tweener and then worked his way into the net to finish off the point.
Koolhof/Tsitsipas took a 6/3 lead, but couldn’t take advantage of those set points or a fourth opportunity at 7/6. The Dutch-Greek pair erased a championship point with aggressive play at 7/8, but the Bryans converted on their second chance and wrapped up the contest in one hour and 37 minutes.
The Bryans pick up 1,000 ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $457,290. Koolhof/Tsitsipas earn 600 ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $223,170.