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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2006, 05:23 PM
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Re: News, articles about the twins...

Here are their answers They talk about the BARKERS!!!!!!
Bryan twins Q&A
Mike and Bob Bryan

In the third of a series of BBC Sport fan forums building up to the start of the grass court season at the Stella Artois Championships, we gave you the chance to send your questions to the best doubles team in the world - the Bryan twins, Bob and Mike.

Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski have already revealed their intention to play at the Stella Artois, 12-18 June at the Queen's Club in London, and the Bryan brothers will be looking to win their third consecutive Stella Artois doubles crown.

Bob and Mike currently head the Stanford ATP Doubles Race, and won the Australian Open crown together in January.

Here are the answers they gave to a selection of your questions.

You and a lot of other top doubles teams were initially against the new doubles scoring format. This has now been operating for a while. How have you found it and do you think the reasons for change are proving valid?
Paul Kitto, England

Bob: They're very valid. Without the shortened format we've played more stadium court matches this year. I think the fans think the scoring is exciting. We've won a lot of close ones and lost close ones.

Overall it hasn't made a lot of difference. We're still playing good tennis and I think the fans are catching onto it.

It is amazing that you both get on well - or at least you appear to! Do you ever/have you ever had a really bad match where you haven't talked about it afterwards?
Gav, Wales

Mike: All the time! It happens when you're twins, are so close and are together all the time. There's so much pressure out there we sometimes let each other hear about it. It happens more than people think.

Even when we look like we're not mad with each other, we're faking it pretty well because we're saying stuff under our breath!

Do you intend to concentrate on doubles tennis or do you have ambitions to achieve on the singles scene?
Phil Kenny, England

Bob: Hopefully the rules will change and I'll be able to use my doubles ranking in singles tournaments because that's going to be my only shot!

Apart from the Williams sisters and Andy Roddick, how do you feel about the current lack of top American singles players in both the men's and women's game?
Lucy Dean, England

Mike: In the women's game they've always had top American players - it's just the injuries to the Williams sisters, Lindsay Davenport and Capriati.

In the men's game I think it's just a matter of time until James Blake can win a Grand Slam. He's already in the top 10. Robby Ginepri when he gets his confidence going is one of the best players. It's just a matter of time before those guys break through in a big way.

How highly you rate Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi on the doubles circuit?
Puneet Kumar Datta, UK

Bob: They're two of the greatest players that have played the doubles game. I've never played a better player than Leander when he's playing his best tennis. He's one of the quickest movers and has every shot. Mahesh is one of the toughest competitors and best returners.

I think they'll go down in the history books probably as the greatest doubles players to come from India - or anywhere.

Being twins, does that give you an innate connection that other double players don't have? Could you be so good with new partners?
Kirklain, Canada

Mike: Yes we do have that connection, because we think alike and have been together almost every day of our lives. When we're out there I know what he's thinking and what he's going to do. We have the advantage of being together for 28 years and playing thousands of matches together.

Do you think the top players' focus on singles only has resulted in reduced public attention to doubles? McEnroe used to be a top singles and doubles player but we do not see this now.
Oscar Urday, Peru

Bob: It would be great if guys like Federer, Nadal and Roddick played more doubles. They play once in a while. Doubles is not shown on TV a lot. It's not played on big courts and it wasn't promoted as well as singles but now that's starting to turn around. I think the ATP is doing a great job with the New Revolution campaign and doubles should now take off.

Who is the greatest American tennis player of all time; Connors, McEnroe, Sampras or Agassi?
Mark Witchell, UK

Mike: I'm a big fan of Agassi. I've loved watching him and we idolised him when we were growing up. I think to win a Grand Slam on every surface is one of the toughest things to do. And he's still playing at 36. I'd have to say Agassi.

What kind of influence did your parents have on your careers? Were they very pushy?
Ian McCormack, UK

Bob: They had a huge influence because they were both tennis pros and they owned a tennis club. They got us playing from when we were two years old but they weren't pushy.

They made tennis fun for us. They made sure we travelled with friends and played in big group games. They never forced a racquet into our hands. They made it fun and we wanted to play because we loved it.

Do you find it frustrating that you rarely get to compete at doubles against the top singles players?
Anthony Minoprio, UK

Mike: We're playing against a lot of great players. Almost 50% of our matches are against top singles players now. We've played Federer, Nadal, Roddick - all these guys.

With the new rules changes we're playing against more singles guys and we like that - it provides a contrast and it's good for the fans to see two great singles guys play two doubles specialists.

I'd like to know what your favourite tournament is and which tournament you want to win the most.
Ellen, Melbourne, Australia

Bob: Indian Wells and Miami. We love playing in those. India Wells because we're from southern California and it's always beautiful down there. We've been to the finals twice and we want to win that one - and Wimbledon.

What do you think about Britain's Davis Cup hopes in the next decade? Do you think it is worth taking the risk on players such as Richard and William Barker - doubles specialists like yourselves.
Stuart Searle, England

Mike: We know the Barker twins. They're great doubles players and great guys. We've had some tough matches against them in exhibitions.

And Andy Murray - he can play. He's still young and is filling the shoes of Tim Henman. They've got good Davis Cup hopes. They have a good shot.

You have already achieved so much in your careers. What are your aims for the rest of this year and for the future?
Lauren, Wales

Bob: We'd love to win another Grand Slam this year. We want to win our Davis Cup semi-final match in Moscow and try and finish as number one again.

Tennis has been such a big part of your lives for so many years but if you hadn't have taken up tennis what do you think you would have done?
Mhairi, Glasgow, Scotland

Mike: We love music. We've been playing music all our lives so if we didn't have to focus all our energy on tennis we'd probably put it all into music, form a band and try to make it and get famous that way!

If you could play against any combination in the history of tennis who would you play against?
Gavin Shand, Scotland

Bob: John McEnroe and Peter Fleming. They were one of the greatest teams of all time and I'd love to see how we'd match up against them. Time warp them to todays's game and see how they'd play with the racquets, McEnroe's finesse and all that!

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