Bob and Mike Bryan made their earliest exit from the Australian Open in 11 years, losing to American Eric Butorac and South African Raven Klaasen in the third round of the men's doubles 7-6 (9), 6-4 on Monday.
The Bryans won the title here last year and are the most successful doubles team in the Open era with 15 Grand Slam titles, including six at the Australian Open.
''We like coming down here and starting the year hot and I don't think we played terribly,'' Mike Bryan said. ''It's just the margins are really small.''
The twins have been practically invincible at Melbourne Park, reaching the finals nine of the last 10 years. The last time they lost before the quarterfinals was 2003.
But they said the loss illustrates the depth of the doubles game and how much tougher the top teams have become thanks to better conditioning, equipment, strategies and coaching.
''I feel like the game's being played at a pretty high level by a lot of good teams,'' Bob Bryan said. ''The old days o...