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By Kylie MacLellan
LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - America’s Bob and Mike Bryan surpassed their Beijing doubles bronze medal by taking home the Olympic gold in London on Saturday, hailing it the greatest win of their long and successful partnership.
They took the title at Wimbledon with a 6-4 7-6 win in the final over France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra.
For the Bryan twins, who have won 11 grand slam titles together, the gold topped all those previous wins.
“(We) got the bronze in Beijing which we were proud about but our whole goal for this year was to upgrade that medal to something a bit more shiny and we did it,” Bob told reporters.
“There’s no bigger match we’d rather win than that one ... we’re 34-years-old and we’ve played tennis since two-years-old. That’s a lot of balls going across the net and this is it. This is the top of the mountain.”
Having won the first set, the top-seeded American duo were forced into a tie break in the second after both pairs held their serve. But they were soon handed the victory when Llodra ploughed the ball into the net to end a nail-biting rally.
“It’s a blur. All I remember I was in the corner, throwing up a lob, trying to hang in there somehow,” said Bob.
It was the second U.S. tennis gold of the day after Serena Williams stormed to victory in the women’s singles final.
France also collected two medals, with unseeded Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet earlier claiming the men’s doubles bronze with a 7-6 6-2 win over Spain’s David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez to add to the silver.
“I have no words to describe how I‘m feeling,” said Llodra.
“The Olympic Games is big, it’s every four years and for us to be on the podium next to our friends it’s fabulous.”
For the Bryans, there was no wiping the smiles off their faces.
“To play on Centre Court at Wimbledon and win the gold medal is a dream come true,” said Mike, who celebrated the win by jumping into his brother’s arms. “We could stop tomorrow and we got a big smile on our face for the rest of our lives.” (editing by Michael Holden)