Some former NCAA doubles champions faced off this week in the finals of the Queens Championships in London. The 'kids' won.
Bob and Mike Bryan, who won the 1998 doubles title for Stanford, captured the Queens title with a 6-7, 7-6, 10-6 victory over Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes of India. Bhupathi teamed with Ali Hamadeh to win the 1995 NCAA crown for Mississippi.
Since leaving Stanford after their sophomore seasons, which included an NCAA team title, NCAA singles crown (Bob Bryan) and the doubles title; the Bryans took the professional tour by storm. Today, they are the world's No. 1 tandem.
The Americans claimed their fifth title of the season, having also beaten the Indian Express in January's Australian Open final. The Bryans also improved to 72-40 in career doubles finals.
One set and 4-2 up, the Bryans broke back and kept their momemtum going to capture the second set 7-6 in the tiebreaker. But the Indians looked to have regained their composure when they took a 3-1 lead in the match tie-break.
However, the Bryans responded and won eight of the last nine points after being down 2-5 in the third-set tiebreaker. The twins recorded their all-time best doubles title No. 72.
"I thought the crowd was fantastic," said Mike Bryan. "There was a lot of juice out there today. The fans were happy to be there on Monday because of the rainout on Sunday. It was a great day of tennis. Towards the end of the match we could feel the energy.
"We always play great tennis against those guys -- Bhupathi and Paes -- and they seem to play well against us. As Bob says, they are legends of doubles and you always have to play your best tennis. It was a high quality doubles match all round."
The Bryans were playing at The Queen's Club for the 12th time in 13 years. They had previously won the title in 2001, 2004, and 2005, and they were finalists in 2007, while making the semi finals in 2006.
The California brothers own a 35-7 win/loss record on the 2011 season.