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Bryans Complete `Career Slam'

July 09, 2006|Diane Pucin | Times Staff Writer

WIMBLEDON, England — The brothers have it.

Bob and Mike Bryan, twins from Camarillo, completed a set of major titles Saturday when they won the Wimbledon men's doubles championship, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, over Fabrice Santoro of France and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.

It was not quite a perfect day for Bob. He and first-time partner Venus Williams lost in the mixed doubles final, 6-3, 6-2, to Andy Ram of Israel and Vera Zvonareva of Russia.

The Bryans, 28, appeared in a record-setting seventh Grand Slam event doubles final. After the final point Mike, older by two minutes, jumped into the arms of his brother, who weighs 20 pounds more. At least according to Mike.

"This is the one we've dreamed about our whole lives," Mike said. "This is the big one," Bob said, "this was the last piece of the puzzle to complete the career Slam."

In the open era only Australians Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge and Holland's Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis have also won at least one Australian, French and U.S. Open and Wimbledon title.

Although it's easy to know why the twins play together, Bob's partnership with Williams is more complicated. Bob said that he and Martina Navratilova had exchanged several text messages about playing together here. "We got into a little miscommunication over what we were going to do," Bob said. "Venus called me a couple of weeks ago, and I jumped at the opportunity to play with her."

Navratilova ended up playing with Mark Knowles and losing in the third round to the eventual champions. Bob said Williams asked him to play at the U.S. Open as well.

But Navratilova, who turns 50 in October and is making the U.S. Open her last appearance, already had asked Bob. "I've committed to play with Martina for her last Grand Slam," Bob said. "I owe it to her."

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