WHAT HAPPENED: History was made on Friday in the US Open men’s doubles final.

Mike Bryan won a record 18th Grand Slam doubles title, teaming up with Jack Sock to batter Lukasz Kubot of Poland and Marcelo Melo of Brazil, 6-3, 6-1 in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Bryan had been knotted with Australian great John Newcombe for the most Grand Slam career men's doubles crowns.

Modestly, Bryan shrugged off the individual effort, telling the fans, “This is not just about me. There are lot of people behind the scenes working to get this 40-year-old body on the court.

“This has been a magical run. I am going to soak this one in and enjoy it. It was a lot of fun today,” said Bryan.

For most of his career, Bryan had played with his twin brother Bob, winning 16 Grand Slam crowns to form one of the game’s most illustrious teams. Together they had won five US Open titles.

But Bob has been sidelined for the year with a hip injury, and Bryan turned to his American countryman Sock to play.

“When I got the call from Mike right before Wimbledon to play, it was a very quick yes to play with one half of the greatest team of all time,” said Sock, who immediately clicked with Bryan to win at the All England Club.

 

Those fans who came early for a full day of tennis before the men’s semifinals later in the day and filled the lower bowl of the stadium were treated to a near-flawless effort by the third-seeded home favorites.

The Americans ripped 36 winners. Many of them coming off Sock’s massive forehand that was firing cannonballs at and past the overmatched seventh-seeded pair, who were playing in their first final at Flushing Meadows.

“I need to thank Jack. He brought the youth and the big guns to the table today,” Bryan said of his 25-year-old partner.

Bryan was not a mere bystander, flicking off volleys and coming up with several sharply angled passing shots.

The Americans faced a single break point in the 75-minute match, coming in the third game of the opening set on Bryan’s serve. The only other moment of tension came with Sock looking to serve out the opening set.

The game stretched to three deuces, and the Americans had four set-point chances before claiming the set on the fifth try with a booming Sock service winner.

 

Three service breaks sealed Kubot and Melo’s doom in the last set.

“They were too good for us today,” said Melo.

WHAT IT MEANS: Several other milestones were set by Sock and Bryan.

They are the first team to win Wimbledon and the US Open in the same year since Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge achieved the feat in 2003.

They are the first team to win consecutive Grand Slam crowns since the Bryans swept all four majors, beginning with the 2012 US Open through 2013 Wimbledon.

At 40 years, 4 months, Bryan is now the oldest Grand Slam doubles champion in the Open era. Leander Paes of India was 40 years, 2 months when he won the 2013 US Open.

Sock is now a perfect 4-0 in Grand Slam finals. He won the 2014 Wimbledon doubles crown (with Vasek Pospisil) and the 2011 US Open mixed title (with Melanie Oudin).

The winners split $700,000; the losing pair $350,000.

MATCH POINT: Bryan and Sock will be Davis Cup teammates next weekend against Croatia in the semifinals and should be back on the court for the always pivotal doubles match.