Brothers claim men's doubles

2007-01-27 13:20
<b>Brothers Bob and Mike Bryan hold the trophy after winning the men's doubles final at the Australian Open in Melbourne. (Andrw Brownbill, AP)</b>

Brothers Bob and Mike Bryan hold the trophy after winning the men's doubles final at the Australian Open in Melbourne. (Andrw Brownbill, AP)

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Melbourne - Chest-bumping American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan successfully defended their Australian Open men's doubles title on Saturday, beating Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden and Max Mirnyi of Belarus 7-5, 7-5.

The top seeded Americans, who lost in the final in 2004 and 2005 before finally lifting the trophy last year, were on top throughout and never looked like losing.

They served hard and at the body with one player tight on the net to zero in the volleys. The second seeded Bjorkman-Mirnyi team had little chance to get through their defences.

The twins took the first set with a single break in 43 minutes but the second was a tougher affair.

The Bryans, who bump their chests together after winning crucial points, finally got the break they were chasing in the 12th game.

They ground down Bjorkman's serve to win the title on their sixth championship point in one hour and 33 minutes.

"We were lucky today," said Bob Bryan. "They are a great team but this has been a perfect start to the year for us."

Brother's 11th Grand Slam final

The two teams are great rivals. They were playing in their seventh straight final against each other.

Bjorkman and Mirnyi had the edge coming into the match, having won their last three meetings, including the French Open final last year.

It was the Bryans' 11th Grand Slam final having won four previously - the French Open (2003), US Open (2005), Australian Open (2006) and Wimbledon (2006) - to make them the first doubles team to win all four majors in Open-Era history.

"I've said it before - they are the best ambassadors for our sport and they proved it once again today," said Mirny.

Bjorkman and Mirnyi are French Open doubles champions but had never got beyond the semi-finals at Melbourne Park before this year.

It was the first time since 1976 that the top two seeds had met in a men's doubles final at the Australian Open.

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