Tennis

Bryans once brawled at Wimbledon

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Greg Couch

Greg Couch has been a national columnist at AOL Fanhouse and The Sporting News and an award-winning columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. He was featured twice in "Best American Sports Writing" and was recognized by the US Tennis Writers Association for best column writing and match coverage. He covers tennis on his personal blog. Follow him on Twitter.

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WIMBLEDON, England

This is about brotherly love. Mike and Bob Bryan, 35-year-old twins from California, are among the most dominant athletes in any sport. On Saturday, they beat Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to win the Wimbledon doubles title and complete the Golden Bryan Slam.

They are now the reigning champs at all four majors, as well as Olympic gold medal winners.

They are the best doubles team ever, now with 15 major titles. In tennis, they’re known for jumping and chest-bumping after big moments, a move they stole from a former doubles team, the Jensen brothers:

It’s just a good feeling to see siblings and family members team up like this and get along for years. If you’re a parent, you always know something like this could happen. These guys are testimony to what can happen when siblings behave, get along, work together.

Uh, until they tell you about their first Wimbledon title.

It was 2006, when they nearly lost in the first round to Amer Delic and Jordan Kerr. It took an 11-9 victory in the fifth set to win.

Here’s their story in their words:

Mike: "It was weird because we won the match. Usually you're really happy after winning the match.

"We were in the car. I said, 'You should have served a little better, Bob.' He took it personal and said something about my forehand. Then I said something. It just got worse and worse.

"I just said, 'I hate you,' or something. Then he just gives me a little hit there, then I go there, and it just erupts into a full-blown brawl."

While telling the story, sitting behind a table in a Wimbledon interview room, Mike reaches over and gives a soft punch to Bob, who pretends to throw a left-handed haymaker. Then he said to Mike:

"We got our bags and you mule-kicked me in the stomach."

Mike: "We're walking up the stairs to our house and Bob is behind me. I give him one of these mule kicks and kick him up the stairs."

Mike stands up and demonstrates leaning forward, and kicking backward.

Bob: "I ran up the stairs and then he slammed the bathroom door right in my face and locked it. I tried to kick it down but I couldn't get through.

"(Then) I saw his shiny guitar. I picked it up and just ... splintered it. That felt good, and that was the end of it."

Mike: "Then I hear everything is quiet. I go downstairs and he's eating. I pull up a chair and start eating dinner.’"

(Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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