LONDON, England - Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond got three quarters of the way to a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles together on Sunday, missing out on a match point in the second set but regrouping in the third set to defeat Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina in the final of Wimbledon, 63 57 64.
The No.2-seeded Bryan and Raymond originally looked headed for a straight set win as they built a 63 53 lead, but the match wouldn't end there - Paes and Vesnina won four games in a row to take the second set, even saving match point down 63 54. But Bryan and Raymond regrouped, winning three of the last four games of the match to close out the No.4-seeded combination.
"It was a blast playing with Lisa all week," Bryan said after the match. "Obviously the match was up and down. We could have closed it out there in straights. Unfortunately I got broken. She's pretty resilient. We fought through the adversity. She kept raising her game and carried me through the finish."
"I don't know about that," Raymond replied.
The pair was asked about the 63 54 game, where they served for the match.
"There's nerves," Bryan said. "I was kind of playing fast, and I really wanted it - I haven't won a mixed doubles title since we won the French Open in '03."
"Since he stopped playing with me," Raymond replied.
"It's good to rekindle a special bond we have," Bryan said. "We're looking forward to hopefully playing the Olympics. That's why we jumped in here. She e-mailed me first, and I'd like to play with the No.1 in the world anytime."
"It's a blast playing mixed with one of the greatest players of all time," Bryan added about Raymond. "She's ridiculous. She volleys better than I do."
"I pay him to say that," Raymond said.
"I really admire her game," Bryan replied. "She's so talented. I mean, she can do everything. She's getting better with age, which is awesome to see."
Along with her co-No.1 Liezel Huber, Raymond was coming off of a semifinal loss in women's doubles to the Williams sisters. She was asked about it.
"When you play them you have to bring your best game - for a set we were right there. If we battled early in that second, who knows what could've happened. But if you're going to lose, you want to lose to the eventual champion."
And what drives Raymond to keep going? "Sitting up here, winning titles," she said. "I made a conscious effort a couple years ago to get fit again, to refocus on my tennis and give it another shot. I thought if I could compete at this level, if I could win Slams, I'd want to still be out here. I hooked up with Liezel. We've been doing really well together. It's all about Slams, it's all about winning titles, being No.1, hopefully winning a medal in the Olympics coming up.
"To be able to come out here and win a Wimbledon title with Mike, I mean, it feels great. To have moments like this, this is what drives me."