Commentary

Bryan brothers closer to the Slam

Updated: July 2, 2013, 6:02 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

WIMBLEDON, England -- At the age of 39, Mahesh Bhupathi has all the requisite trophies you could hope for in a lifetime.

The Indian star has won 12 Grand Slam doubles titles, three of them here at the All England Club. He is married to Lara Dutta, a former Miss Universe. And he recently signed as the new agent for Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray.

Plus, he's still out there swinging a racket until he retires at the end of the year.

On Tuesday, along with partner Julian Knowle, he took a crack at the No. 1-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan. The No. 8 seeds gave it a go, but the identical twins from California prevailed 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).

The Bryans actually won the match twice. At 5-4, Bhupathi's serve down the middle appeared to sail long, but it was (eventually) called an ace and the Bryans lost the game.

Regardless, the win means they're into the semifinals, where they have a date with Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin, the No. 14 seeds.

The Bryans already hold the other three current major titles (U.S. Open, Australian Open and French Open) as well as the Olympic gold medal. Two more victories here would give them the Wimbledon title, too. That would be a Grand Slam, albeit not in the same calendar year.

If they can win Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, they would achieve a calendar-year Grand Slam, something that has never been achieved in men's doubles in the 45 years of the Open era.

Not bad for two guys who are 35.

And while doubles may not be the biggest draw in tennis, Jack Nicklaus, the famed Golden Bear, was spotted in the seats at Court 12.

The longest dance

It was the doubles match that never seemed to end.

At 11:30 a.m. local time, the No. 14-seeded team of Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin walked onto Court No. 2 to play the No. 6 team of Robert Lindstedt and Daniel Nestor.

The quartet endured two lengthy rain delays and five charged sets before Roger-Vasselin stroked a lunging forehand volley winner to secure a 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-7 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-2 victory.

The time of the match was officially 3 hours, 45 minutes, but in real time it was closer to 6 hours, 45 minutes. The funny thing? The nearly three-hour rain delay came with the score 5-2 in the fifth. That last game required only one minute.

Italians ousted

The No. 1-ranked doubles team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci fell to No. 16 Julia Goerges and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The winners will play the unseeded team of Shuko Aoyama and Chanelle Scheepers -- who have already knocked out two seeds -- in the quarterfinals.

Townsend advances

No. 5-seeded American Taylor Townsend is into the third round of the girls' draw after defeating Sandra Samir of Egypt 6-2, 6-4. The match required only 69 minutes and featured 31 winners by Townsend.

Hope for 30-somethings

The Bryan Brothers aren't the only successful 30-something team in men's doubles.

James Blake and Jurgen Melzer, 33 and 32, respectively, defeated Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia 6-2, 6-4, 6-3. Blake and Melzer are now into the quarterfinals, where they'll face No. 12 seeds Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.

Etcetera

Jamie Loeb, an 18-year-old American, advanced to the third round of girls' singles with a 7-6 (1), 6-2 win over No. 1 seed Camila Giangreco Campiz of Paraguay & The No. 1 mixed doubles team of Bruno Soares and Lisa Raymond defeated Filip Polasek and Janette Husarova 6-2, 6-3 in a second-round match following a bye. The match was over in 47 minutes & Stefan Kozlov of the U.S. defeated Lucas Gomez 6-2, 6-3 in a boys' junior match.

Greg Garber

Writer, Reporter
Greg Garber joined ESPN in 1991 and provides reports for NFL Countdown and SportsCenter. He is also a regular contributor to Outside the Lines and a senior writer for ESPN.com.