NEW YORK (Reuters) - A text message brought American duo Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber together for only the second tournament in their career and ended with them winning their second grand slam at the U.S. Open on Thursday.
Last year’s French Open champions reunited at Flushing Meadows to beat Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Kveta Peschke 6-4 6-4 for the mixed doubles title but the pair only reunited after Huber contacted her former playing partner in the build-up to the tournament.
“I sent him a text saying we need to get in the draw and that was it,” said Huber after winning the sixth grand slam doubles title of her career.
The pair were all smiles in their one-hour, seven-minute match in very blustery conditions in Arthur Ashe Stadium, which Bryan revealed was the secret to their success.
“You have to keep it light hearted in the whole situation and I think the smiles are what got us through,” said the 32-year-old, who took his tally of grand slam wins to 15 in the process. “It’s kind of like, yeah, smiles.”
Czech Peschke and Pakistan’s Qureshi joined forces at the tournament for the first time after a last-minute agreement to play, but the unseeded duo had no answer to the aggression of the number one seeds.
Bryan, who will face Qureshi again in Friday’s men’s double final with his twin brother Mike, put his trademark chest-bump celebrations on hold for his partnership with Huber, much to the South African-born player’s delight.
“He wants to chest bump, chest bump, chest bump and I’m like ‘no, don’t chest bump me’.” said Huber. “We don’t chest bump - I’m just scared I will hurt myself.”
Instead, Bryan lifted his playing partner into the air as they celebrated the first title of this year’s U.S. Open.
After the match, Bryan revealed he and his brother would be making a donation to the Pakistan Flood Relief Fund following the recent catastrophic floods in Qureshi’s home country.
Editing by Frank Pingue