The well-crafted 2020 retirement scenario for the Bryan brothers may be delayed by a year due to the current COVID-19 shutdown of tennis.
The New York Times reported that the 42-year-old pair of American twins are reconsidering the scenario and packing in their iconic doubles act next season instead of now.
Tennis has been paused since March due to the worldwide virus emergency, with a tentative resumption set for next month.
But the dire virus infection rate in the US – more than 70,000 cases per day and rising – could well mean that even if the fan-free US Open somehow goes ahead in New York from August 31, there will absolutely be no one allowed in to witness an historic goodbye.
With the pair’s informal farewell tour grounded in the spring before it even got off the ground, the Bryans are considering extending the roadshow which has yielded 16 Grand Slam doubles titles together.
“I don’t think we want to play a sterile US Open with no fans,” Mike Bryan told the paper. “That’s not what we signed up for,” added Bob.
The pair will get the chance to test their fitness during the World Team tennis season which begins in West Virginia at the weekend, to be staged at an isolated resort with daily virus tests, limited (500) face mask-wearing fans and all players confined to an isolation bubble onsite.
“This all depends on how our bodies hold up,” Mike said. “At 42, it’s all about the recovery.”
The three-week season between nine teams will require up to 12 dozen matches per player over the period. The team last competed at a Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan in Honolulu in February.