The Bryan Brothers, Mike and Bob, have announced they will hang up their rackets following the 2020 U.S. Open, according to USOpen.org. The pair has won five U.S. Open titles as part of 16 Grand Slam men's doubles championships. In all, the team has amassed 118 career titles and an Olympic gold medal as doubles partners. At 42-years-old, the identical twins decided mutually that it was time to be done with the sport on a professional level.
Mike said (via USOpen.org):
"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. 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.
The two hold the record form men's doubles wins at the Australian Open with six titles and won three Wimbeldons and two French Opens together.
Their final match appearance will come in New York, where they say they have wonderful memories. "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," Mike said.
Mike reminisced on that time of their lives and commented on how young they were, "I think we didn't weigh above 150 pounds, and they wouldn't even give us our badges. They thought we were ball kids."
Their first U.S. Open match, as those skinny, young-looking newbies, was against Patrick Galbraith, who is now the USTA president and they say the whole experience is coming "full circle" for them.
USTA CEO and Executive Director Gordon Smith said you cannot quantify what the two have done for the tennis world, but say the brothers are about more than just the sport.
"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," Smith said.
For the twins, it was about being together and accomplishing greatness as a duo. "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," Mike said.
He added, "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."