Tampa Bay’s Bryan Twins Are Golden
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — In his final feat of athleticism at the Olympics, Bob Bryan caught his brother.
Mike Bryan leaped into his twin’s arms after they completed a career Golden Slam by winning the gold medal in doubles Saturday, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra of France 6-4, 7-6 (2).
‘‘For those moments, you don’t plan them,’’ Mike said. ‘‘I usually jump, and he usually holds me.’’
‘‘That’s the longest we’ve hugged,’’ Bob said. ‘‘We’ve spent 50,000 hours together, and probably 30,000 on the court, working our butts off to get here. That hug right there was a culmination of it all.’’
The Americans, who are three-time Olympians (and base out of Saddlebrook Resort north of Tampa), won the bronze in 2008. They’ve won 11 major titles together and finished 2011 ranked as the No. 1 doubles team for the seventh time in nine years.
They achieved the Golden Slam — winning all four majors and the Olympics — hours after U.S. teammate Serena Williams accomplished the same feat in women’s singles.
Williams urged on the Bryans as they headed for Centre Court.
‘‘She said, ‘Guys, come on,’’’ Bob said. ‘‘She gave me a fist and this really tough face, and I thought we kind of adopted that persona.’’
En route to the title, the Bryans won six tiebreakers in five rounds, and the final was tight throughout, with only one service break.
The last point was a doozy. Bob sprinted across the court to retrieve a shot near the backstop, flipping a lob over his shoulder with his back to the net.
‘‘Any other match, I probably would have let that point go,’’ he said. ‘‘I said, ‘I think I can get there.’ I’m 34, but I’ve still got some spring in my legs.’’
The rally continued until Llodra dumped a volley in the net, and the Bryans hugged. Half an hour later, they were already talking about the 2016 Games in Brazil.
‘‘That’s the goal,’’ Bob said. ‘‘During Wimbledon we made a pact and said we want to shut it down in Rio. If we play a day past Rio, we’re going to shoot each other.’’
First-time Olympians Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau of France won the bronze medal by beating David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-2.