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Bryan brothers join the Rio Games absentee list

Europe
Von unserem dpa-Korrespondenten und Europe Online   auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
New York (dpa) - Doubles aces Bob and Mike Bryan threw the US tennis selection for the Rio Olympic into a panic as the pair of veterans dropped out of the team Saturday, less than a week before the start of the Games.

"After countless hours of deliberation Mike and I have decided to forego the Rio Olympics. Though we‘d love to compete again, as husbands and fathers, our family‘s health is now our top priority," Bob Bryan said on their Facebook page.

"Representing Team USA is one of our proudest tennis moments to date, and winning gold in 2012 will always remain the pinnacle of our career. The Olympics means so much to us for so many reasons, and the memories we have wearing the Stars and Stripes will burn brightly forever."

They thanked the United States Tennis Association for its nomination.

"We wish every athlete luck in their quest for Olympic glory and hope the Rio games are a positive experience for everyone involved," Bryan said.

The 38-year-old twins, who have been the cornerstone for the US game for a decade and a half, made their announcement after losing in the quarter-finals this week at the Toronto Masters.

They cited health concerns - with the Zika virus prevalent in Brazil - and family concerns as their main reason for bailing.

Rio would have been the fourth Games for the pair, who played at Athens in 2004, claimed a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008 and gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

The absence of the doubles kings leave the US team well short, after singles pullouts weeks ago by John Isner and Sam Querrey.

The Bryans join a growling list of Games absentees headed by injured Roger Federer.

Also missing are top 10 ATP players Canada‘s Milos Raonic, Czech Tomas Berdych and Dominic Thiem. Simona Halep and Swiss Belinda Bencic will not participate, either.

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