© ©Getty Image
© ©Getty Image
Mike’s milestone win
ROLEX MONTE-CARLO MASTERS 2018
Bryan’s victory gives mike 100 titles
Mike Bryan is the first player to win 100 tour-level doubles titles after he and twin brother Bob Bryan triumphed at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Sunday. The Americans captured their 98th team title as they defeated Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 6-3, 3-6, 10-8 in 72 minutes.
“It’s amazing to hit triple digits,” said Mike Bryan. “It’s a great milestone to say that you have a hundred, to be the first player to hit a hundred titles. Kind of snuck up on us pretty quick. Last few years we’ve been really hot. We always wanted to beat the Woodies’ record of 61. Then trying to clip Todd Woodbridge’s 83 titles. All of a sudden I’m at 99.
“It will feel a lot better when we do it as a team. We’ve always looked at our career as team titles, doing it together. That’s the huge goal for this year, to do it together.”
Bob added, “Hopefully [we’ll do it] before [Roland Garros]. We’ve got two tournaments or three coming up before the French. It’s incredible to see what he’s done. I guess I’m knocking on the door.”
The Bryans won their fifth title in a row and extended their winning streak to 21 matches unbeaten. The 35 year olds have not lost since the Memphis final in February, taking in titles in Delray Beach, Indian Wells, Miami and Houston before arriving in Monte-Carlo.
“It’s been a great run,” said Mike Bryan. “I think we’ve done it once before in our career where we won five in a row. That was last year. We’re playing well, really confident. Couldn’t ask for a better time to get hot. Three Masters [1000s] and two in the States. It’s great for the confidence for the rest of the clay season. What you want to do is build towards the French Open.”
After losing the first set, third seeds Dodig and Melo fought back, breaking the Bryans in the seventh game of the second set. The Croatian/Brazilian pair then saved three break points to level the match and force a deciding tie-break. The Bryans let slip an initial 4-1 lead, but came to match point at 9-8 and converted as Dodig double faulted.
“It was another tough match against a great team,” said Mike Bryan. “We’ve had a lot of battles against those guys. They’ve been tough on us recently. Came down to a couple of points in the breaker. The 7-6 point was probably the key point. I clipped the line, hit a nice shot over the middle.”
The California natives triumphed at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament for the fourth time, having previously lifted the trophy in 2007 (d. Benneteau/Gasquet), 2011 (d. Chela/Soares) and 2012 (d. Mirnyi/Nestor). Last year they missed seven match points as they lost the final to Julien Benneteau and Nenad Zimonjic. The Bryans lead the ATP World Tour with 29 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles together.
Dodig and Melo, who reached the semi-finals on their debut at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals last year, were chasing their second team title, having triumphed at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Shanghai (d. Marrero/Verdasco) in 2013.