Now that we’ve got your attention. 🙂 🙂
For the first time since … forever – since before Roger Federer was ever No. 1, American doubles No. 1 Mike Bryan is going to look over to the other side of the court this week at an ATP Tour event – and he won’t see Bob looking back at him.
The elder of the 37-year-old twins (and the righty), Bryan will team up with countryman Steve Johnson at the Erste Bank Cup, a 500-level event in Vienna, Austria
And, for the first time since time immemorial, a Bryan will be unseeded and will get a taste of how most of his opponents feel about the draw when it comes out. He and Johnson will play No. 2 seeds and two-time 2015 Grand Slam finalists Jamie Murray and John Peers in the first round.
Not surprisingly, Mike’s Bob-less record is actually good.
He did play without Bob fairly recently – in 2012 in the first round of Davis Cup, which took place the week after Bob and wife Michelle had their first child, daughter Micaela. He teamed up with Mardy Fish to face … Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. The Americans won in four sets.
Same reason this time – Bob and his wife are expecting their third child, a boy, imminently.
But the last time before that, in an ATP Tour event? You’d have to go all the way back to a tournament in Long Island in 2002, a (now-defunct) tuneup before the US Open. Mike played with Mahesh Bhupathi – and they won it. That was 240 ATP Tour tournaments ago.
In June of that year, Mike teamed up with Mark Knowles in Nottingham … and they won it.
The last time he lost without Bob was in May, 2002 at a tournament in St. Polten, Austria. He teamed up with a rather obscure Aussie named Michael Hill (was surprised to look him up and find he was a top-20 doubles player around that time). But they got to the final.
In all of the Bryans’ long time on Tour, Mike has played without Bob just eight times. Bob has played without Mike just four times (once in Davis Cup in 2010 when he played with John Isner).
Twice – wayyyy back, when they were just kids, they played the same tournament, but with different partners.
At a $50,000 Challenger in Waikoloa, Hawaii early in 2001, Bob Bryan teamed up with Erik Vervloet and Mike Bryan reached the final with Paradorn Srichaphan. Both lost to Americans Paul Goldstein and Paul Thomas, the top seeds (Bob Bryan lost to Goldstein in singles, too; No. 8 seed Andy Roddick, just 18, defeated unseeded James Blake in the singles final).
At Surbiton, Great Britain that summer in another $50K, Bob played with Blake while Mike teamed up with Jan-Michael Gambill.
You’re now up to date on all your Bryan brothers trivia. Their career, and longevity, is incredible. We do hear through the grapevine that Bob will be calling it a career after the Rio Olympics; so perhaps this is the first of several tryouts for Mike in terms of what he’ll do post Bros.