(September 5, 2013) The pursuit of a calendar Grand Slam is over for Bob and Mike Bryan. The Bryan bothers lost to Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the semifinals of the US open on Thursday afternoon in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The loss ended a 28 match winning streak at the majors for the Americans. Before today their last loss at a major was in the semifinals of last year’s Wimbledon to Jonathan Marray of Britain and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark.
The Australian team of Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman in 1951 is still the only team to win all four tennis majors in a calendar year.
“We’re very disappointed,” said Bob Bryan. “I mean, as competitors we hate to lose, and we knew what was riding on this match and the opportunity of what we could have accomplished.
“Got that. And then in one sense it’s, you know, it’s a little bit of a relief where you get to kind of exhale for the first time in a few months.
You know, all this Grand Slam talk has been in the back of our head, and it’s been an honor to be a part of this run with Mike. It’s been a great 12 months.
“You know, we would have never dreamed it would have been this sweet and we would have scraped out this many close matches.
“Today all that kind luck that’s been on our side went against us. Those guys played a great match, and, you know, we wish them luck in the finals. But, yeah, it’s a little bit of a relief. You know, now we can move on and work on the next run.”
“I have tremendous respect for the boys,” said Paes. “They are great champions, great ambassadors for the game.
“Just the record that they have even before this year shows how great they are as a team. What they have done this year is something really special.
“In one context, going out there to play today we knew we were playing for our year.”
“I definitely don’t think this is top 10 toughest moments,” Bob Bryan said. “The toughest moments have been Davis Cup losses when you know you’ve let your team down.
“I feel like, you know, we haven’t let anyone down. I mean, I know there is a lot of people following us and a lot of people pulling for us. Yeah, maybe we have disappointed a few people who wanted this to happen.
“But for us I feel like those Davis Cup losses have been the toughest. You’re devastated you lost a pivotal point for your country.”
Last year it was the Bryan brothers who stopped Stepanek and Paes in last year’s US Open final.
“I can’t say enough about my partner,” Paes. “We have got a little bit more work to do this week, but what he has been through this year, both him and I know. For me that will come with me to my grave, and I will always be with him in his corner no matter where we go in our lives, no matter what we do.
“I think that’s what gives us strength on the court. As some of you know in the media, Radek had an injury in the Australian Open, went through spinal surgery in his neck, and has got a few little battle wounds right now to show for it.
“He looks as tough as anybody, but the way he’s recovered, the way he’s done his rehab, the way he’s stayed with it, to me, along with some other adversities this year, shows off a great champion that he is.
“Beginning of the year when he got injured I got lots of phone calls to play with other guys, but that’s not what you do. What you do is you stand by your partner. I have tremendous belief in him, and he’s really shown that belief coming good.
“So like I said, we’ve got a little bit more work to do this week, but I’m very proud of the partner I share the court with. He’s probably the best partner I have had. I really enjoy playing with him.”