To say that doubles tennis is overshadowed by singles tennis is an understatement. It’s kind of like saying, the Bryan Brothers are just okay.
The Bryans already have 15 Grand Slam tournament titles. And, with their 2013 Wimbledon win, they had won all four majors (and an Olympic gold medal!) over a span of 12 months — a Golden Slam. It already sounds impressive and amazing, but, if the Bryan brothers win the 2013 U.S. Open, they will become the first men’s team in the Open Era to win a calendar-year Grand Slam. They will be the second men’s team of all time: Back in 1951, Australian team Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman did it.
If you’re wondering whether or not they can do it, let me put it in perspective for you: The Bryan Brothers have already won the U.S. Open four times.
Furthermore, they’ve already clinched the Number 1 spot for the year. This is their 9th year-end Number One in 11 years. Yes, it’s August. Yes, it’s super early for the rankings to be locked up. But the Bryans have 14, 285 rankings points, putting them 7,000 points ahead of the current Number Two. So they are heading into the U.S. Open without the stress of locking in their rankings.
So while the American men probably won’t break our U.S. Open singles drought, we’re golden in men’s doubles.
What is a Golden Slam?
In case you’re confused about a Grand Slam, Golden Grand or a Career Grand… here’s a quick and dirty primer.
- Grand Slam: Winning the four majors consecutively (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open) in the same year.
- Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam: Winning the four majors consecutively (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open) but not in the same year. The Bryan Brothers won last year’s US Open in 2012, and the other three majors in 2013.
- Golden Grand Slam or Golden Slam: Winning an Olympic gold medal and the four majors in a calendar year.
- Non-Calendar Year Golden Slam: Winning an Olympic gold medal and the four majors consecutively but not in a calendar year. Bob and Mike Bryan are the only players to have achieved this; thus, the term “Golden Bryan Slam.”
- Career Grand Slam: Winning all four majors at any point during a player’s career. Both Federer and Nadal have Career Grand Slams.
- Boxed Set: Winning all four major tournaments in all three disciplines (singles, doubles, mixed doubles). No player has ever done this in one calendar year.
- Career Boxed Set: Winning all four major tournaments in all three disciplines (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) over the course of a career. No male player has come close. Three women have Career Boxed Sets: Margaret Court (Australia), Doris Hart (USA) and Martina Navratilova (USA).