Thursday December 15th, 2011

Mike and Bob Bryan

Mike and Bob Bryan have been the year-end No. 1 doubles team seven times. (Eric Gay/AP)

It's been 2,731,680 minutes and counting. That's 271 weeks, or how long Mike and Bob Bryan have held the No. 1 doubles ranking since they turned pro as a team in 1995. This week, the twins surpassed John McEnroe's previous record of 270 weeks.

"This ranks up with our record of most team titles," Mike Bryan told ATPWorldTour.com. "It shows we were consistent throughout our whole career and we didn’t want to relinquish the top spot."

It's an incredible achievement and, as the pair continue to run up their tally, it's a record that seems unlikely to be matched again. Doubles is a game of revolving door partnerships, with players constantly looking for the ever-elusive "perfect fit," sometimes in spite of established success. Just this year, we saw two top five teams (Leander Paes/Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna/Aisam ul haq Qureshi) split in search of new partners at the end of the season.

Even McEnroe rotated through partners, though he set up a powerhouse duo with Peter Fleming, with whom he won 57 of his career 71 doubles titles. Mac also won majors with Mark Woodforde and Michael Stich on his way to nine career Grand Slam doubles titles.

The Bryans, on the other hand, were more or less born into their partnership. Their commitment to each other and to their career as a team, through good times and bad, is a rarity. Will another partnership ever be as committed and successful? I doubt it.

Here's a look at the Bryans' other record-breaking exploits:

• 11 Grand Slam titles (tied with the Woodies)

• 19 Grand Slam finals

• 7 consecutive Grand Slam finals (2005 Australian Open–2006 Wimbledon)

• 7 consecutive years of winning at least one Grand Slam

• 75 ATP titles

• 116 ATP tournament finals

• 718 Tour-level wins

• 19 ATP Masters 1000 titles

• 3 ATP World Tour Finals titles

• 7-time ATP Team of the Year and ATP Team of the Decade

• 7-time ATP Fans' Favorite Doubles Team (every year the award has existed)

• 18 Davis Cup World Group wins

• 8-time ITF world champions

All that and they have their own ESPN commercial.

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