PARIS (AP) Without his twin brother and long-time doubles partner, Mike Bryan has felt like something was missing at the French Open this year.
With Bob Bryan recovering from a right hip injury he sustained in Madrid this month, the twins’ record of 76 consecutive Grand Slam appearances came to an end.
Mike teamed up with Sam Querrey instead, marking the first time since the 1999 Australian Open that the American brothers did not feature together in a Grand Slam doubles draw.
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Mike’s campaign was short lived as he and Querrey lost in the first round at Roland Garros on Tuesday to Britain’s Skupski brothers, Ken and Neal.
”Playing with Sam Querrey, who is a good friend, even though we lost, I think we had some laughs and a good time,” said Bryan after they succumbed 7-5, 6-4. ”But it does not feel natural. It’s probably not as (much) fun.”
Mike said it was unclear when Bob would be ready to return.
His brother hopes to be fit for the grass-court season, and Wimbledon next month, with examinations not showing any serious hip damage.
”There is no need for me to keep going out there if he is gonna be on the shelf for a long period of time,” Mike said. ”I figured out that why I love this game is playing with him.
”Obviously I have much more fun when we are doing it together. It felt a little bit lonely this week, doing all these things by myself. It just feels like you’re missing half of yourself.”
Together, the 40-year-old Americans have amassed 16 Grand Slam titles. They won the first in Paris in 2003 and claimed their second French Open title in 2013.