NEW YORK (Reuters) - Brothers Mike and Bob Bryan derailed the duo dubbed the “Indo-Pak Express” to win the U.S. Open men’s doubles title Friday.
The American twins clinched their ninth grand slam title with a 7-6 7-6 victory over Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, leaving them just two shy of the record of Australians Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge.
It was a captivating match at Flushing Meadows without a break of serve.
There was little to suggest that the Bryans were the home favorites as a noisy crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium cheered India’s Bopanna and Qureshi, of Pakistan, whose story of playing together in a bid to broker peace between the two nations made them a popular doubles act in New York.
But the pair, who had four of the six break points in the match, lacked the intuition of the Bryans, who bounced back from a mini-break in each of the tiebreaks to win their 65th career title.
The result was overshadowed by the historic partnership between Bopanna and Qureshi, who were watched in the stands by the Indian and Pakistani ambassadors to the U.S. The diplomats watched the match sitting side by side.
”It’s just a match and it’s just a game,“ Mike Bryan said afterwards. ”A lot of people in Pakistan don’t have homes and are out on the street.
“What these guys are doing bringing India and Pakistan together is very special. It shows that sport can bring people together.”
Bopanna’s family had flown in from their home in Bangalore for the match, which coincided with the birthday of Qureshi’s sister back in his native Lahore.
The sun briefly came out on a cold and windy day at Flushing Meadows in a contest that Bob Bryan described as “the best match of my career.”
Editing by Steve Ginsburg