DAVIS CUP FIRST ROUND: AUSTRIA v USA
February 9, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Was it nice and short?
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, I mean, it came pretty easy. We broke I think first game of each set so we were never really under the gun and bigtime pressure.
We came out and we knew this team was going to be tough, and we sustained the energy and the aggressive mentality the whole way through, which was good. And I thought Bob played extra good.
BOB BRYAN: Extra well.
MIKE BRYAN: Okay. Fine. Yeah, Bob played really well. I was proud of his effort today, especially after what happened in Australia.
Q. Bob, we used to see Andy clinching a lot of Davis Cup ties. You guys are certainly on a roll now.
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, I mean, we come to play no matter what the score is. Doesn't really make a big difference for us, it's still a sleepless night for us.
It's always great to be up 2-0 because it kind of changes the atmosphere of the whole tie. They're probably not as fired up being down 0-2. Kind of takes the wind out of their sails a little bit.
But, yeah, we expected for them to bring their best stuff today, and it came easy. It was a low-stress match for us, and that's the way we like it.
CAPTAIN McENROE: That's the way I like it.
Q. You won the title last year. I guess it's quite a boost with these circumstances here to...
CAPTAIN McENROE: Yeah, I think it was -- to come here we knew it was going to be a tough match to play a good team in their home environment on a tough surface. I think just mentally we're a much stronger team. We're more confident and don't get rattled at all. That's obviously more the singles guys. These guys I've never seen them get rattled every.
But as Bob said, being up 2-0, it's hard enough to play the Bryans, but when you have to play them when you're down 2-0 with the intensity that they bring, it's difficult. No, we feel good.
Q. Would you have expected to sit here on Saturday already celebrating your win?
CAPTAIN McENROE: To be honest, I never really think about how it's going to unfold, because there are always surprises in Davis Cup. It's like when the draw comes out, Are you happy Andy plays first, or plays second?
I mean, both matches yesterday were extremely difficult. As I said yesterday, it's one of my sort of most satisfying just one day as a captain because of the way the guys fought and stayed in there mentally and physically through tough conditions for their entire matches.
So for me as a captain, it was a very satisfying day to see that happen, and then we carried that momentum into today.
Q. What was the inspiration between the black sock and shoe look today.
MIKE BRYAN: Just what adidas came out with. And black socks looks good with black shoes. I kind of like it though.
CAPTAIN McENROE: It's good for clay, too.
MIKE BRYAN: It's good for clay because you don't have to throw your socks away after.
Q. First of all, you guys have won four Grand Slams at least once. How high does this Davis Cup rank against the individual titles?
BOB BRYAN: I think just as high as a Grand Slam, Grand Slam final. I think we're more nervous for this one. This one has the highest anxiety, even more than a Grand Slam final, which is weird.
But we just want to do it so bad for our teammates and our country. We don't want to let anyone down. Those guys came out and played so well yesterday. We didn't want to send them back out in the court in a live rubber.
Q. You're talking about the final. It's bigger than that?
BOB BRYAN: I get more nervous for this stuff.
Q. The other question was about the Aussie Open on the singles side, and you guys didn't manage to defend successfully. Is there a feeling that you can do U.S. tennis good here by doing another great run in Davis Cup?
BOB BRYAN: I think U.S. tennis has been pretty darn strong. We haven't had a Grand Slam champion since 2003. Federer has won 99% of every slam. For Andy and James to be consistently in the top 10 and for us to -- you know, we're doing pretty well, and the Davis Cup team is doing well.
What else do you need to measure a successful country? That's it right there.
Q. Will Blake play tomorrow?
CAPTAIN McENROE: We haven't talked about that yet. We'll regroup tonight and figure that out.
Q. Maybe both Bryans this time.
CAPTAIN McENROE: Maybe. Now there's an idea.
Q. You're talking about having a slight right knee injury, is it enough to stop him from playing?
CAPTAIN McENROE: It could be, yeah. Yeah, he twinged it pretty good. The last thing you want to do is put him out there in a dead rubber with him tweaked a little bit.
He put a lot work in yesterday and he's put a lot work in over the years for us. If he's not feeling 100% and I can give him a break, that's certainly what I'll do.
Q. Guys, your tied now for first all-time with U.S. wins, doubles pair. What does that mean to you?
MIKE BRYAN: It's a great honor to have one of the best records in Davis Cup just because we value Davis Cup a lot and we put a hell of a lot of energy into it.
We just pull our hat down and put our best stuff on the court. Luckily we're 14-1 and had some good fortune.
Yeah, I think we've played some of our best tennis in Davis Cup, which we're really proud of. Who knows, we might end up 14 and 13.
CAPTAIN McENROE: I doubt it. No way.
Q. I don't understand why guys miss it. I'm a Briton and we didn't even have Andy Murray out for us. Why would they do that?
BOB BRYAN: I don't know. I can't relate to guys that don't put their heart and soul into the Davis Cup. We really fortunate that Pat put us on the team in '03, and we've played 15 times in a row and would never skip one of them, or even think of skipping one of them.
That's tough to play a Grand Slam with Davis Cup right on the horizon, right over the hill, because this is -- these are the only real moments that get my juices flowing anymore.
Q. Patrick, your early thoughts on hosting quarterfinals, Winston-Salem, a potential matchup with France.
CAPTAIN McENROE: I think that it would be a tremendously exciting match, because France has a great team and sort of great young players, obviously Tsonga with a great Australian Open. They have an excellent doubles team.
So I think not only do they have a great team, but great individual players and a lot of flair in their team. Playing Winston-Salem, which is where we played Spain last year was an incredible environment. We're hoping for the same kind of scene there this year.
Q. You see some similarities between your teams to establish singles guys and really steady doubles players?
CAPTAIN McENROE: Yeah, we've got a little more experience than they do. I think there are some similarities. Llodra and Clement are one of the best teams in the world in doubles, and we've got the best team. Makes it like every match could almost be like a Grand Slam semi or final.
Q. Patrick, Saturday sat afternoon and the thing's over with.
CAPTAIN McENROE: Well, I'm pleasantly surprised. I thought coming here was going to be a very difficult match, which is was on Friday with two very tough singles matches. Our guys were able to sneak both of them out, and we had the Bryans coming out.
No matter what the score is, you always feel very confident that they're going to play great tennis and normally get the win. I think for the other team, the Austrian team, to be down 2-0 and have to face the Bryans is a pretty daunting task.
We got a good start. The Bryans really did jump out early and sort of keep that lead throughout the whole match.
Q. The way they came out and played today it didn't seem they even needed to take a shower at the end.
CAPTAIN McENROE: They played well. Obviously Melzer was probably a little bit tired from his match yesterday. We tried to capitalize on that as quickly as we could.
The Bryans are awfully good at sort of jumping on an opponent's weakness, whatever that may be. We were able to do that and not let the crowd get into match in any way. As the boys said, they sort of save their best tennis for Davis Cup, and they kept their intensity up throughout the whole match.
Q. And obviously they didn't have any problem with the clay surface.
CAPTAIN McENROE: They actually love playing on clay. They actually joke to me about playing some home matches on clay and they would like that. But they understand that that doesn't work well for our other guys at home.
But, no, they really adapt well to the surface, and the way they play they can put a lot of pressure on their opponents because they just make so many returns.
Q. Do you know who you're going to put out there tomorrow?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I do not know. I'm going to talk to my guys and see how everybody is feeling and hopefully get a few more wins tomorrow.
Q. Seemed like a pretty subdued celebration today. Sort of been there, done that, or still a lot of work to be done?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I think there's a lot of work to be done. I think you never want to sort of overly celebrate on your opponent's home court, and I think our guys are always respectful of that.
Yesterday I think winning those two matches gave us a lot of momentum going into today. When you win three straight sets pretty easily, the writing was pretty much on the wall I think.
We won it this past year and we've taken our first step this year. So like last year in the Czech Republic we won a tough match away on clay, and we've done it again this year. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going.
Q. You're you'll continue to keep tabs on the team over the spring hard court season, Indian Wells, Miami?
CAPTAIN McENROE: Yeah. I think the key is obviously for Andy and James to play well in the big tournaments, and hopefully to stay healthy and take care of themselves, which they do, and sort of gear up for Winston-Salem after Miami in early April.
Q. Do you expect the same boisterous crowd you had last year at Winston-Salem?
CAPTAIN McENROE: We're hoping to have the same kind of crowd. Like when we played Spain, it was one of the best crowds we've ever had in the U.S. we hope to fill it again and make it nice and loud and noisy for the French.