Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Colin Fleming and Jonathan Marray 7-6 (7), 6-4 on Monday to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Open. The twin brothers won their 28 consecutive match at a major and moved within two victories of becoming the first doubles team since 1951 to collect all four Grand Slam titles in the same year.
The Bryans advanced with some clutch play, none more spectacular than a 21-shot rally at the net (see above video) to save a set point in the first set.
The rally wasn't the only impressive set-point save of the match. Fleming and Marray also saved one in a rapid-fire, 17-shot exchange. You think doubles is easy? Try this one at home:
The match was another test for the brothers, who came back from a set and a break down to defeat Vasek Pospisil and Daniel Nestor 6-7 (1), 7-5, 6-2 in the third round Sunday. After that match, they reflected on the small margin for error in doubles, which are best-of-three sets at the U.S. Open.
"If the singles went down to two and three sets, you probably wouldn't see the Big Four always in the semis or the quarters," Mike said. "You'd see a lot more upsets and a lot more players that have chances to win Slams. In doubles, the margins are way tighter."
Bob agreed: "In doubles, there are probably 16 teams that could sneak through and win this title. Some big serving, win some [tie]breakers, and you're holding up the trophy. Singles, in my mind, there is only four [potential winners]."