All in the family: Professional tennis' most memorable sibling duosBy Apr 10, 2020
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All in the family: Professional tennis' most memorable sibling duos
The sport has seen plenty of stellar siblings, and that's no accident. On #NationalSiblingsDay, we take a look at tennis' most successful duos.
Published Apr 10, 2020
Sibling success will always be a part of tennis. It’s hard to deny the importance of having a training partner who lives under the same roof.
From the McEnroe brothers to the Williams sisters, to the Bryan Brothers to the Pliskovas, there are plenty of prominent siblings at the forefront of the game.
This is no accident. Tennis is the perfect sport for developing a sibling rivalry that pushes both players to improve. You can hit against a wall all you want, but there is no substitute for a high-intensity match or training session, especially when family bragging rights are involved.
Andy Roddick, Alexander Zverev, Jack Sock, James Blake, Denis Kudla, Tennys Sandgren and many other players credit at least some of their success to having an older sibling who also played the game. More often than not, it’s the younger sibling who steals the show. Serena has achieved more than Venus, Andy Murray would crush Jamie in a singles match, and at just 22 years old, Alexander Zverev is far more accomplished than Mischa.
In honor of National Siblings Day, we're taking a look at some of the best and most influential brother and sister duos in tennis.
Serena and Venus Williams: The Williams sisters own 30 combined Grand Slam singles titles, as well as 14 in doubles. Not only are they the greatest sibling duo in tennis history, they are the most successful sibling duo in sports history, period.
Bob and Mike Bryan: The Bryan Brothers are the doubles GOATs. They've paired to win 119 total titles, 39 Masters 1000 titles and 16 Grand Slam titles. This season was thought to have been their last, but given the coronavirus' impact on the 2020 tennis calendar, that may change.
Andy and Jamie Murray: The Murrays are the pride of Scottish sport. In 2016, Andy and Jamie became the first brothers to simultaneously hold the world No. 1 ranking. Andy owned the top spot in singles, while Jamie teamed with Bruno Soares to capture the top spot in doubles.
Alexander and Mischa Zverev: Although they are separated by 10 years, you shouldn’t underestimate the role that older brother Mischa played in his younger brother's success. “When we were at the coin toss and then took the picture, and I walked back to the baseline, I had to fight my tears, because I felt like, 'It just finally came true,'” said Mischa after facing his brother at the 2018 Citi Open. “Because we’ve been playing against each other in the backyard in our mini-tennis court and imagining that we would play against each other, like, in a Grand Slam final.” Alexander has climbed all the way to world No. 3, while Mischa peaked at world No. 25 in 2017.
Karolina and Kristyna Pliskova: While Kristyna Pliskova will likely never reach world No. 1, as her identical twin sister Karolina did in 2017, she is certainly no slouch. Currently ranked No. 69, Kyrstina climbed up to No. 35 in 2017. Just 28 years apiece, the Pliskovas have plenty of mileage left in their careers.
Marat Safin and Dinara Safina: As of now, Marat and Dinara are the only brother and sister duo to ever hold the No. 1 singles ranking. Marat reached No. 1 in 2000, and retired in 2009 with two Grand Slam titles and 15 singles titles. Dinara reached No. 1 in 2009, the year she reached the Australian Open and French Open finals. She won 12 WTA singles titles and a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
John and Patrick McEnroe: John and Patrick are two of the most recognizable faces in tennis, and not just for what they did as players. John is something of a pop culture icon, while both brothers remain two of the game's top analysts and commentators. John racked up 77 singles titles, including seven Grand Slam titles, while older brother Patrick holds one singles title and 16 doubles titles.