The Bryan brothers are considered to be the most successful men’s doubles pair on the ATP circuit. With 16 men’s doubles titles, seven mixed-doubles titles, four world tour finals titles, one Olympic gold medal along with a Davis Cup title, their trophy cabinet is the object of jealousy for many.
However, when victory gets into your head, you often don’t like to lose and would go to any extent to win; whether it is a game or a point. The Bryan brothers gave an exhibition of the same during Wimbledon in 2013.
During the first set of the semi-final against Rohan Bopanna and Édouard Roger-Vasselin, with the score at 4-4, Vasselin sent a powerful return from a Bob Bryan serve. Knowing that his body would fail to get there, Mike Bryan flung his racquet at the ball while stationed at the net. The racquet made contact with the ball and landed in the opponents’ court.
Bopanna and his partner protested against this act. The umpire however did not pay heed to their appeal as he believed that the racquet fell out of the hand only after it made contact with the ball. Replays though clearly suggested otherwise. Rules say that the racquet needs to be in contact with the player while returning the ball.
Bopanna and his partner were left sulking after the point and they went on to lose the hard-fought, five-setter epic. The Bryan brothers went on to win their third Wimbledon title.