ROME (AP) -- The Bryan brothers have moved within one victory of matching the Woodies for the most doubles titles in the Open Era.
The twins—Bob and Mike—beat fellow Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-3 Sunday in the final at the Rome Masters for their fourth title of the year and 60th in their careers.
The retired Australian pair of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde—known as the Woodies—hold the tour record with 61 career titles.
“It’s huge for us to be considered a great team like the Woodies,” Mike Bryan told The Associated Press. “Hopefully we don’t get stuck on 60 for a long time.”
The Bryans can match the Woodies at their next tournament in Madrid in two weeks, and possibly break the record at the French Open, which starts May 23, but they have other plans.
“Probably Wimbledon would be the best place to do it because that’s TV live back to the States, Centre Court match, so that would be exciting,” Mike said.
The Bryans are planning on attending when the Woodies are inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame later this year. Then they want to chase the Woodies’ 11 Grand Slam titles, with the Bryans currently at eight.
The twins turned 32 on Thursday and have no plans to retire anytime soon, noting that doubles specialists often play into their late 30s.
“We’re still feeling pretty young,” Mike said.
The Bryans have been a doubles fixture for the United States in Davis Cup since 2003, and they see Isner and Querrey as possible successors in that role.
When Mike got sidelined with food poisoning against Serbia in March, Isner partnered with Bob to beat specialists Nenad Zimonjic and Janko Tipsarevic. A day later, Isner pushed second-ranked Novak Djokovic to five sets before losing in singles.
Isner and Querrey have compiled a 14-5 record in doubles this season, and are also the brightest young American hopes in singles. With Andy Roddick taking this week off, Isner and Querrey were the only Americans in the singles draw, and both were seeded.
Clay isn’t their best surface, however, and Isner made it to the second round while Querrey lost his opening match.
“They’re the future of American tennis,” Mike Bryan said. “We’re the old guys now and they’re going to have bright futures with their weapons—and they can do singles and doubles. They want to go to London and make the Masters in doubles and I think they’re going to do it.”
Isner and Querrey beat Roger Federer and Swiss teammate Yves Allegro in the third round.
“It’s fun to play doubles, especially in a week like this where we lost early in the tournament,” Querrey said. “You’re still here playing doubles at least, you’re not sitting around practicing for six days. It gives you something to look forward to.”
Roddick is sitting out Davis Cup this season, and Mike Bryan doesn’t expect him to return in the future.
“I think Roddick has kind of moved on,” Mike said. “He hasn’t officially retired but John and Sam are pretty eager to play and they’ve showed they can step up.”
U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe decides the lineup.
“Anytime Patrick needs us, we’ll be ready,” Querrey said.