Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan talk tactics at the 2020 Australian Open on Jan. 22, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia.
Bob and Mike Bryan are joining the list of top tennis players opting out of this year’s US Open, only they won’t be coming back.
The twin brothers, who won an Olympic gold medal in 2012 and became the sport’s most successful men’s doubles team, announced their retirement in a New York Times story Wednesday night, five days before the US Open is set to begin in New York. The Bryans, 42, had originally planned to retire after the US Open but with the season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and no fans in the stands in Flushing Meadows, they decided to bow out early.
“We just both feel it in our guts that it is the right moment,” Mike Bryan told the Times. “At this age it takes so much work to go out there and compete. We love playing still but we don’t love getting our bodies ready to get out there. The recovery is tougher. We feel like we were competitive this year, last year, the year before. We want to go out right now where we still have some good tennis left.”
Born in Camarillo, California, both brothers went on to win NCAA titles at Stanford before embarking on their unprecedented pro careers. Spanning more than two decades, the Bryans won a record 16 Grand Slam titles and 119 tour titles together, and spent 438 weeks ranked No. 1. The next best men’s team in the Open era had 11 Grand Slam wins and 61 tour titles.
The Bryans were at the height of their power at the Olympic Games London 2012 when they won the gold medal, the last major championship missing from their resumes. Then they went on to win that year’s US Open and then Australia, France and Wimbledon the next year, giving them all five major titles at once.
In total the brothers competed in three Olympics together, also finishing fifth in 2004 and winning a bronze medal in 2008. In addition to their doubles gold in 2012, Mike Bryan also won a bronze medal in mixed doubles with Lisa Raymond that year. Though they were named to the 2016 Olympic team, the Bryans withdrew before the Games.
Mike Bryan ends his career with two more Grand Slam doubles titles than his slightly younger brother, having teamed up with fellow American Jack Sock to win Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 while Bob Bryan was recovering from hip surgery. The brothers were back in 2019, though, and they won for the 119th time together in their last tour event in February.