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17 December 2013

Top 5 moments of 2013 - Bryans' double defeat


Photo: Susan MullaneBob and Mike Bryan (USA)

Each day this week we will be casting our memory back over 2013 to bring you the best moments from another fantastic year in the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group.

Bob and Mike Bryan are arguably the greatest doubles team of all time but they will not be looking back on 2013 with particularly fond Davis Cup memories.

The terrific twins were involved in two thrilling doubles encounters – both of which came on home soil – and they finished on the losing side both times.

For most teams this would be a simple blip, a bump in the road, but for the Bryans it was the first time that the doubles duo had lost back-to-back matches in Davis Cup... ever.

The brothers went into the start of the year with a doubles win-loss record as a team of 20-2 (with both their previous losses also coming on home soil) and with match-ups against Brazil and Serbia in the first round and the quarterfinal respectively the home fans would have expected nothing less than a win for their doubles team.

Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares were the first to upset the apple cart back in February as they forced the Californians into a fifth set decider before clinching it 63 after three hours and 30 minutes of action.

Having never previously lost two Davis Cup doubles rubbers in a row, no-one could have foreseen what was going to happen when the Bryans went into the quarterfinal tie against Serbia.

With the tie level at 1-1 after the first day’s play, a win for the Americans in the doubles (as is expected) would have forced Novak Djokovic to win a crucial fourth rubber and could have sent the tie into a deciding fifth.

The Serbian doubles partnership of Ilija Bozoljac and Nenad Zimonjic had other ideas, however, and stunned the Bryans in a fantastic encounter at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise.

Once again the twins were pushed into a deciding fifth set before the Serbian pair found enough in the tank to prevail 15-13 after four hours and 23 minutes of play. 

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