Published June 05, 2012
PARIS – Americans Bob and Mike Bryan remember their 2003 French Open doubles title as if it was yesterday.
They stayed on course to win a record 12th Grand Slam championship together by defeating Oliver Marach of Austria and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals at Roland Garros on Tuesday.
"Crazy, it goes by so quick," Mike Bryan said, recalling their only French Open title. "In nine years, we had a lot of shots at it. I think we're playing just as good as we were back then. Probably better."
The second-seeded Bryans will next play Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer.
"We got right at the gates and broke early," Mike Bryan said. "Then it got really tough in the second. They started to win some of those long exchanges and they started to hit the ground bit by bit. They picked up their games ... Last set, we kind of hung on."
The Bryans won the first five games of the match while winning the opening set. But the Argentines evened it when Marach hit a return winner to take the second set.
The Americans broke in the opening game of the final set. The twins celebrated winning the 22-stroke break point with a chest bump while Zeballos slammed his racket to the ground after his backhand lob had sailed long.
"I think we earned the chest bump after that point," Bob Bryan said. "The last one we did was in Nice so we were long overdue."
The Bryans won two titles on clay this season. Those were in Monte Carlo in April and in Nice in May.
"That definitely gave us some kind of momentum coming in here," Mike said. "And we're pretty confident."