Australian Open Diary Of Djokovic, Murray and Bryan Brothers


The Bryan brothers are the second pair of twins to play professional doubles. The first were Tim and Tom Gullickson who were identical twins except that they played lefty and righty. As the story goes, an up and coming German player had the misfortune of playing the Gullicksons in his first two singles matches on the tour. After losing to each brother he almost quit the game. He could not understand how the same player could beat him right handed and left handed.
The Bryans are almost that identical, with Mike an inch taller than Bob. Extremely personable to talk to, the Bryans are on the verge of becoming the greatest team in the history of the game. They have been number one for over five years now and have eleven Grand Slam titles to their name. They stand on the verge of creating history on Saturday night as they play Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek for the Australian Open title. This is also a landmark final for Paes as he looks to collect a career Grand Slam, the Aussie Open being the only jewel missing in his crown.
These are the events that go along on the fringes of the main events at these major events. The doubles, the mixed the wheel chair and the juniors. These are events that the top singles players have forsaken in their bid to preserve their bodies for the major challenges that they face week in and week out. But, for the Bryans, the Paes and the Qureshis, the money is good and so is the life style.
A lot of top singles plays take up the doubles game as time takes it’s toll on their bodies. They can coax an extra five years and enough money to retire on. Players like Kuznetsova and Zvonareva, two Russians who were stars on the singles scene are now on the verge of winning the singles title here as this is written. A few nervous points from the duo and the Italians Errani and Vinci are on the verge of tying up the third set. Kuznetsova, a former USOpen champion and the daughter of an Olympic cyclist, holds her nerve and serves out for the win.
The addition of Ivan Lendl to Andy Murray’s camp has certainly made difference in Murray’s outlook on the court. Gone are the imploring glances to his coaches at court side. The shoulders are not dropping after every error and even though he still might not win this match against Novak Djokovic, he is certainly in there fighting it out. Murray fought back after being a set and a break down and led 3-2. He stayed in the rallies and the errors started coming from Djokovic.
Murray was making Djokovic hit closer to the lines. Djokovic started missing and his confidence eroded. Making very few unforced errors, Murray took a two set to one lead but Djokovic stormed back to take the fourth and lead 5-2 in the fifth set. But Murray was not finished yet. He broke back and then had several break points on Djokovic’s serve at 5-5. But Djokovic was not to be denied. He held serve and then broke Murray to win an extraordinary, fluctuating match lasting almost five hours.