Experience and style prevailed over power and youth on Saturday in the Miami Open presented by Itau doubles final.
The 39-year-old Bryan twins captured their fifth Miami title, their 37th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and their 115th tour-level championship as a team. It’s their biggest title since 2016 Rome and their first tour-level crown since 2017 Atlanta.
Khachanov, 21, and Rublev, 20, were playing in their first doubles final as a team. Early on, it looked as if the Russians had enough force and fearlessness to knock off the American greats, who were playing in a Masters 1000 final on home soil for the second time this month (Indian Wells, l. to Isner/Sock).
Khachanov/Rublev broke in the opening game when Rublev smashed a forehand into the open court, and on their third set point, another forehand, this one from Khachanov, gave them a one-set lead.
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The Russians were content to tee off from the baseline, whereas the Bryans tried to smother the net and make the Russians hit past them – or through them.
In the second set, the teams traded breaks until Mike Bryan closed out the tie-break with a well-placed first serve down the T. During the Match Tie-break, five first serves and the crowd, with chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” carried the Bryans to victory, their first title in nine months.