© Andrew Patron

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan capture a record-extending sixth Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com doubles trophy.

How A Fan Played A Key Role In The Bryan Brothers’ Sixth Delray Beach Title

Americans rallied from a set down to lift the trophy

For most of their careers, Bob Bryan has returned in the deuce court, and Mike Bryan the ad court. But for their final season in 2020, they have swapped places.

So when the American twins won just two return points in the first set of the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com final against Luke Bambridge and Ben McLachlan on Sunday, they were thinking of what to do to change the rhythm of the match. That’s when a fan got involved.

“A guy, a random fan in the crowd, yelled out, ‘Why don’t you switch to your old sides?’” Mike told ATPTour.com. “We just looked at each other and we just said, ‘Why not?’”

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According to Mike, the last time the 41-year-olds pulled such a manoeuvre was at last year’s US Open.

“We have [done it] both ways, so it’s nice to have that flexibility,” Mike said. “It’s something you might see us do this year if a match is going that way.”

This was the last match the Bryan brothers played in Delray Beach, where they entered the day five-time titlists. The brothers had a choice: continue on the path they were going, or try something new — in this case, old. It worked, as the top seeds are now six-time champions at this ATP 250.

“When you don’t get a sniff, and we didn’t have any chances, we didn’t win too many points the other way, we thought we had to do something different,” Bob said. “We’ve played over a thousand matches the other way, so we’re used to those patterns.”