Mike Bryan, Jack Sock
win Wimbledon doubles crown
Arthur Kapetanakis | July 14, 2018
Mike Bryan and Jack Sock survived a gruelling five-setter in the Wimbledon men's doubles final to win their first Grand Slam title as a pair.
The Americans battled Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus for three hours, 39 minutes in an exhilarating 6-3, 6-7, 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 victory.
Broken only once in the match, the No.7 seeds escaped a pair of close calls on serve in the fifth set before finally snatching a break in the 11th game of the decider. At 2-3, Sock erased a 0-30 hole on his serve and at 3-4, Bryan was forced to save a break point in a nervy 10-point game.
The decisive break came with Klaasen serving at 5-5. At deuce, a dipping Bryan forehand from deep behind the baseline set up break point. When a well-placed backhand return by Sock set up the Nebraska native with an inviting forehand, he made no mistake on his preferred wing with a blistering pass to secure the break.ADVERTISEMENT
Energized and excited, the Americans hardly sat down during the ensuing changeover, and Bryan quickly served out the match to clinch the title.
Bryan, playing without brother Bob, who is recovering from a hip injury, secured his 17th major men's doubles title with the win. Having already secured his place as the oldest No. 1-ranked player in ATP Tour history by reaching the semifinals, the 40-year-old can now add another record to his resume as the only man to win 17 Slam titles in the Open era.
It was a match filled with highlights and even a pair of unusual calls from the umpire and lines crew at big moments.
In the second-set tiebreak, down 6-7, Sock hit one of the shots of the match when he guided a difficult backhand overhead past Klaasen and Venus from well beyond the service line. But instead of riding that momentum to a commanding two-set lead, the American duo dropped the next two points to concede their early set advantage.
After an early break saw them cruise through set three, the Americans continued to threaten on the return in set four. Ultimately, four break points went begging and it was Klaasen and Venus who made the breakthrough to force a fifth set in bizarre circumstances.
With Bryan serving to send the set to a tiebreak, the former Stanford Cardinal was called for a foot fault on a second serve to end a 14-point game and concede the set, 7-5. It was the only time the Americans were broken in the match.
There was time to regroup, however, when a ten-minute delay preceded set five, as the Centre Court roof was closed with daylight fading.
Bryan, who was also called for illegally volleying a ball before it had crossed the net earlier in set five, was coolness personified as he served out the match.
The Americans created 15 break point chances in the match, converting on three – one in each set they won.
After Serena Williams fell one match short of a title of her own, falling to Angelique Kerber in straight sets in the women's singles final, Bryan and Sock made sure that Team USA will bring home a championship trophy from across the pond.