Australian Open 2013: Bryan brothers crush Haase - Sijsling to clinch title

2013 Australian Open - Day 13
Anand Datla

Like well oiled wheels on a luxury sports car, Bob and Mike Bryan played in perfect harmony to set a scorching pace and race past the clueless pair of Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling to clinch their 13th Grand Slam victory and their sixth title at the Australian Open to pull further into the distance as the world’s most successful doubles team ever to have played the game. In the end, the world No.1 team packed too much power and finesse for their unseeded opponents who were crushed 6-3, 6-4 in just 54 minutes of brutally one-sided and incredibly rapid Tennis.

It was a tentative beginning for the five-time Australian Open champions, as they fell to 0-40 in the very first game. Mike staved off two of those break points, but surrendered the game at the third time of asking. The Bryans though set about repairing the damage immediately to break their opponents and recover from the early loss. A brilliant backhand return from Mike brought up the first break of the match, the seasoned twins wasting no time to push the Dutch pair to an uncomfortable corner on the expansive Rod Laver Arena. Even as the inexperienced Haase and Sijsling sought to claw their way back into the contest, Mike pulled away from 30-30 on his service game to take a commanding 5-2 lead.

A service winner gave Bob and Mike two set points and Mike climbed all over a return to cut off the point with a forehand volley to seal the set in just 23 minutes. Impressively, the Americans hadn’t put a foot wrong, making 11 winners and not a single unforced error to dominate their unseeded opponents. The Bryans wasted no time in taking the advantage at the beginning of the second set. Attacking the Haase serve, the Bob rushed Sijsling at the net and the Dutchman dumped a volley in the net for lack of time to surrender the break. Bob Bryan though was on song and when he held to love, the prolific pair was up 4-2 and within touching distance from of another Grand Slam victory.

The inexperience of the Dutch pair showed on the next point, when they failed to attack Bob Bryan after pushing him back by instead opting to play at Mike who played the volley right into the body of Haase to snare the point from a position of defense. Even so, the Dutch fought gallantly to force a break point, only to squander it, yet again due to the lack of co-ordination. Sjisling had an easy backhand lined up, when Haase rushed into the line of the ball only to muff the difficult half volley to fall back to deuce. It was to be the final strain of effort for the twins, as they moved within a game of the championship.

After clawing back to even terms from 0-30 on the Sijsling serve, the unseeded pair had yet another technically inept moment. Haase back pedalled to an easy overhead, even though Sijsling had an easy put away, only to pick the the ball from behind his body and send it out due to his lack of balance and position. And even though they managed to hold serve to 4-5, Bob had to hold once to clinch the title. He did so with customary ease, clinching it with a service winner on their third match point. The title moved the Bryans one clear of the legendary Aussie team of John Newcombe and Tony Roche. The Dutch pair was a mismatch for the Americans, with barely any chance to emulate their distinguished countrymen – Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis – who remain the last pair from the nation to win a Grand Slam title, way back in 1998. It was a perfect outing for the twins, who had 23 winners and not a single unforced error.

Edited by Staff Editor


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