to retire at 2020 US Open
Ashley Marshall | November 13, 2019
Mike and Bob Bryan, the most successful doubles team of all time, will retire at the 2020 US Open, the brothers announced Wednesday.
Speaking with USTA.com, the five-time US Open champions said 2020 will be their final year on tour and that the time was right to step away from a sport that has been front and center for more than half their lives.
"We took the last few months off to try and get our minds right and get our bodies and minds fresh and make this decision," Mike said. "We feel it's the right time. It's just a perfect time to go. We feel like we can still be competitive and win, but at 42, we're really appreciative of getting so much longevity out of our careers.
"We feel like you can't play forever, so we just wanted to make the decision and go into next year knowing that we can see the finish line and play as hard as we can, but also appreciate being on tour, playing together and giving back to the fans a little bit."
The identical twins wrote and re-wrote the record books throughout their sure-fire Hall of Fame careers, winning titles together in New York in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 and dominating the sport in a way few others have come close to emulating.
The brothers won everything the game has to offer, capturing a record 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles, 118 career titles and an Olympic gold medal together.
They've spent more weeks at the top of the rankings—438 in total—than any other duo in history.
"Having known Mike and Bob Bryan for some 25 years, I know very well how much they’ve meant to tennis—and how much tennis has meant to them," said USTA Chairman of the Board and President Patrick Galbraith. "They’ve represented our sport and our country on the world stage with unparalleled character and class; their remarkable talents matched only by their unbridled energy and enthusiasm.
"I consider myself fortunate to have shared the court with them on several occasions, and equally fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch them as a fan on several more. Their oversized personalities and unmistakable presence will be sorely missed in the professional game, but without doubt, as this journey ends, the road to the Hall of Fame begins."
The twins won the US Open men's double title five times in six finals—both Open-era records—and it's little surprise that they also hold records at the Australian Open (six titles), and the French Open and Wimbledon (seven finals appearances at each Slam). The Bryans couldn't think of a better place to play their final tournament than in the Big Apple.
"We want to really play a good US Open," said Mike. "In our minds, that's where we'll hang up the sneakers. It's going to be amazing, playing for the fans in New York. There's nothing like it. We've had some amazing matches on all the courts there. I think we played 25 US Opens starting in '95 ... coming in when we were 17 years old, just wide-eyed. I think we didn't weigh above 150 pounds, and they wouldn't even give us our badges. They thought we were ball kids. We actually played in our first US Open match against Patrick Galbraith, who's now the USTA president, so it's come full circle.
"There's just been so many great moments and excitement and energy and chestbumps. It's the granddaddy of all Slams now. That's the place where we're going to be very happy to say our goodbyes. It's been a great 25 years at the Open. It's been awesome."
The Bryan brothers, who turn 42 in April, are the only team to win each major at least twice each, and they’re the only duo to hold all four majors and an Olympic gold medal simultaneously. From the 1999 French Open to the 2018 Australian Open, the brothers didn’t miss a Grand Slam tournament, an inimitable run of 76 events that's also unlikely to ever be matched.
Add in 39 Masters titles, four year-end finals wins, a 2007 Davis Cup title and bronze medals at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 1999 Winnipeg Pan Am Games and you start to get a sense of the scope of their longevity and impact, even before you factor in the humanitarian work they carry out through their Bryan Brothers Foundation, which has raised $1.2 million for charitable causes.
But arguably as important as their trophies, the Bryans made doubles a must-watch event, revitalizing the game with a shared understanding of the sport that likely only comes from knowing their partner as well as they know themselves. They made doubles cool, their iconic leaping chestbump as famous as any celebration the sport has witnessed.
“It is impossible to overstate all that Mike and Bob Bryan have done for the sport of tennis on and off the court," said USTA CEO and Executive Director Gordon Smith. "But putting aside their record number of ATP Tour victories, Grand Slam wins, Olympic gold medal, Davis Cup championship and all the other accolades, it’s what Mike and Bob are as people that has made them role models and world-class ambassadors for our sport.”
Mike said he didn't know what the future holds for himself or Bob, but reflecting on 25 years as a professional tennis player, he said there's nobody with whom he'd rather make that journey.
"We've had our foot on the pedal the whole way, and we haven't really come up for air," Mike said. "We've had this energy and this passion because we love the game. We didn't really shoot for these astronomical goals; they just happened. We've never really had a chance to look back and enjoy it.
"When you get to share this whole experience and your life—more than half of our lives have been on tour—to be able to do it with someone you're close with and someone you have such a tight bond with, there's no closer bond than with your twin brother. Doing it with him is like doing it with a piece of you. I don't think we'd be doing it for as long as we have if we didn't have our best friend right next to us."
Here's a look at some of the Bryan brothers' milestones that are unlikely to be surpassed any time soon.
o 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles, the most in the Open era.
o 118 career titles, almost twice as many as the second-most team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, who won 61 together.
o 438 weeks together as the No. 1 doubles team, including an all-time record of 139 consecutive weeks between Feb. 25, 2013, to Oct. 25, 2015.
o 15 consecutive years reaching at least one major final and 10 consecutive years winning at least one Grand Slam title.
o 7 consecutive Grand Slam men's doubles finals, from the 2005 Australian Open to 2006 Wimbledon.
o 39 Masters 1000 titles, including six at each of Miami and Monte Carlo.
o 24 Davis Cup doubles wins, the most by any American team.
o 10 years ending the season as the No. 1-ranked pair in the world.
A decade of dominance
Such was the Bryan brothers’ dominance, you could essentially pick any year from 2005-14 and make a solid argument for it being the greatest single year of any doubles team in history.
For any other tandem, any one of these seasons would be a career highlight. For the twins, it was just part of their continued greatness.
In the 10 years from 2005-14, they won 15 Grand Slam men's doubles titles together, reached 10 other major men's doubles finals, won 82 total tournaments and finished the year at No. 1 nine times.
2005: They reached the final of all four majors for the first time, culminating in their first of what would be five US Open victories. They reached the championship match in Monte Carlo and Rome and reached the semifinals at the ATP Finals, finishing at No. 1 in the world.
2006: The Bryans won titles in Melbourne and Wimbledon, plus Masters 1000 events in Madrid and the Rogers Cup, ending 2006 atop the rankings for the second year in a row and for the third time in four years.
2007: The twins defended their Australian Open title, reached a third consecutive Wimbledon final, helped Team USA to a Davis Cup crown and won Masters titles in Miami, Monte Carlo, Madrid, Paris and Hamburg. They went 50-7 between Slams, Davis Cup play and Masters 1000 events, and posted a career-best 77-9 overall record for the season.
2008: They won a second US Open title, finished runner-up at the ATP Finals, claimed an Olympic bronze medal and won titles in Miami, Rome and Cincinnati.
2009: The siblings added another Australian Open title to their cabinet, also earning the ATP Finals year-end trophy and making finals at Wimbledon and Masters events in Monte Carlo, Rome and Cincinnati.
2010: Australian Open and US Open champions, plus winners of four consecutive Masters 1000 events at Madrid, Rome, Canada and Cincinnati. They reached 11 finals and won every one.
2011: The Bryans won a fifth Australian Open title (their third in a row), plus a second Wimbledon title and trophies in Monte Carlo and Madrid.
2012: The 2012 US Open champions also reached the Australian and French Open finals. They captured gold at the 2012 London Olympics and won titles at Monte Carlo and the Rogers Cup.
2013: By winning the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, the Bryan brothers held all four Grand Slam titles at the same time. They also won five more Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, Cincinnati and Paris. By Aug. 19, the Bryan brothers had wrapped up the year-end No. 1 ranking, the earliest it has ever been determined.
2014: A record fifth US Open title together, ATP Finals champs for the fourth time, plus a career-best 30-3 record at Masters events, including a record six titles in one year at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Cincinnati, Shanghai and Paris.