The decision closes a professional tennis partnership that includes a men’s doubles record of 16 Grand Slam championships.
“We just both feel it in our guts that it is the right moment,” Mike Bryan told the Times. “At this age, it takes so much work to go out there and compete. We love playing still, but we don’t love getting our bodies ready to get out there. The recovery is tougher.
“We feel like we were competitive this year, last year, the year before. We want to go out right now where we still have some good tennis left.”
The twin brothers, both 42, had previously planned to retire after the 2020 US Open. But the decision to hold the Grand Slam without fans in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic led to their decision to withdraw prior to the event.
“We weren’t in this last year to just play the matches and to get points or to make money,” Bob Bryan told the newspaper. “It was to really say our thank-yous to everybody and feel the atmosphere one last time. The crowds — that’s what make the US Open magical in our minds. We really applaud the US Open for getting going and all the work they’ve put in to give tennis back to the fans on TV and to give players opportunities to compete again and make money, but it just wasn’t right for us.”
The Bryans have won 119 titles in all along with the 2007 Davis Cup and the 2012 London Olympics doubles gold medal for the United States. They also have 10 year-end finishes as the No. 1 doubles team in the rankings.
“We were pretty much unstoppable for those years,” Bob Bryan told the Times. “We were down a break of serve and smiling, and not one bit of negativity drifted into our game.”
They reached the third round of the men’s doubles at the Australian Open, the only Grand Slam event that has been played in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.