Saturday, July 6, 2013

Ex-Stanford stars complete "Bryan Bros. Slam"

   They won a "Bryan Bros. Slam" today.
   Next, they'll try to win an official one.
   Top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan became the first doubles team to hold all four major titles and the Olympic gold medal, beating 12th-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Marcelo Melo of Brazil 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 for their third Wimbledon crown.
   "It's hard to even dream that we'd have the Slam, all four at one time," Mike Bryan told reporters. "It all started back after we won the gold. It just felt like a huge pressure was released. Went on to win the (U.S.) Open and had a great summer. This year, we've been on an amazing tear. Never had a streak like this. Especially at 35, I  feel like we're hitting our peak."
  The Bryans, identical twins and 1998 NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, extended their winning streaks to five titles and 27 matches. They improved to 50-6 this year, and with nine crowns, they are on pace to shatter their career high of 11 championships in 2007 and 2011.
   At the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 26 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., the Bryans will attempt to become the first team since Australians Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman 62 years ago to win a calendar-year Grand Slam.
   The Bryans won a record 13th Grand Slam title in this year's Australian Open and followed that with the French Open championship. Overall, they have won 91 doubles crowns.
  The Bryans were not the only players with Northern California ties to play in a Wimbledon final today. Fifth-seeded Taylor Townsend, who will make her World TeamTennis debut next week for the Sacramento Capitals, fell to top-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the junior girls title match.
   Townsend, 17, will miss the Capitals' season opener on Sunday night against the Texas Wild at Capitals Stadium in the Sacramento area and possibly Monday night's home match against the Philadelphia Freedoms.
   Nicole Gibbs, who turned pro last month after winning her second straight NCAA singles title as a Stanford junior, will replace Townsend.

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