The world’s No. 1 men’s doubles duo left their mark at the Apia International Sydney on Sunday, one day before the year’s first slam was set to begin. Americans Bob and Mike Bryan took care of singles champion Jarkko Nieminen and Aussie Matt Ebden 6-1 6-4.
The Bryan brothers were making their fifth appearance in the final in nine trips to Sydney and won their second overall title here — and first since 2009.
The four men had to give up playing any tennis on Saturday night when rain washed out play of the men’s singles and doubles competitions completely. A bad weather forecast put Sunday’s play in danger, but clouds parted long enough for both finals to take place and put a fantastic week of tennis to end.
Nieminen was the story of the week after he won seven matches (equivalent to a grand slam) to advance to the men’s final on Friday. He and Ebden also booked a spot in the doubles final that day, making him the first double-dip finalist since Lleyton Hewitt did it here in 2000.
But after Nieminen took care of Julien Benneteau in rather easy fashion in the men’s singles final Sunday morning, he and Ebden could never find their groove against the much more experienced team of brothers.
The Bryans have 11 grand slam titles to their name, including the last three Australian Open crowns. They didn’t drop a set in four matches this week in Sydney, managing to squeeze out close two-set matches to begin the week before dropping just 11 games in their final two matches.
Ebden and Nieminen received a wildcard into the event and won two out of their three matches coming into the final in three sets. They had never been paired together before this week.