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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-16-2010 11:22 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Bryan brothers' brilliance a fine advertisement for doubles

Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent

Many of us have endured that agonising moment when the Bryan twins are walking towards you and you desperately search for that minor idiosyncrasy that might enable you not to make a fool of yourself and call Bob "Mike" and Mike "Bob". The Net Post asked for a couple of pointers in terms of separating the pair yesterday as the Bryans celebrated the 61st tournament victory of their careers, to equal the Open Era record of the Australian Woodies, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

Mike – I’m sure it was Mike – said: “Bob’s a little heavier than me, he’s grown his hair a bit longer, he’s uglier and I have a couple of moles on the side of my neck.” But you cannot always approach Mike from the proper side to be able to see them and then, of course, have to try to remember which of the brothers had the moles in the first place.

What is not difficult at all to distinguish is how brilliantly they play doubles, the telepathy they share than only twins can enjoy, which gives them a marked advantage and the relish they have for playing this game at their rarefied level at 32 years of age (they still look 22).

They opened 2010 with their eighth grand slam title, at the Australian Open and should they add the French in three weeks, obviously, the record will then be theirs. And what better place would there be to set such a landmark than at one of the sport’s four treasures? Already this year they have won in Delray Beach, Houston and Rome.

And they speak as well as they play, a constant source of mature opinion and fun mixed with a spontaneity which makes them engaging conversationalists. Though doubles tends to be greeted with indifference at many tournaments – the Williams sisters won the women’s doubles event here and the final was scheduled second on at night after a men’s singles – the Bryans have kept it cool and relevant, playing with an exuberance that shames younger pairings.

That was as true as ever when they defeated Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, the defending champions and current No 1 pair in the world in the Mutua Madrilena Masters final in Madrid, 6-4, 6-3. Like Woodbridge and Woodforde, they are a left-right combination who seem to have been granted the advantage of eternal youth.

“That is definitely the best combination,” Bob Bryan said. “The sun out there today was really bad for a leftie, so we decided to put Mike on a different side. We can use winds to our advantage and the leftie serve is always tougher to break, I think. We feel like our game is pretty comfortable if I make first serves, and Mike is such a good returner he keeps us in other guys' service games.”

And they show no sign of letting up. “We’re still having fun. It never gets old or boring to be travelling the world with your brother,” Mike said. “We love winning the titles and sharing the trophies and the memories. We don’t want to say, ‘Now that we’ve done this or that, we’re going to retire next year.’ I don’t think we’d find this adrenalin sitting on the couch at home so we might as well soak it up while we can.

“Being twins does give us an advantage. We’ve played thousands of matches; there is a special bond and communication that most teams don’t have. The other side of the coin is that other players have seen us play hundreds of times, so it is a challenge for us to keep working on different things.”

We wondered whether they thought more of the top ten players might indulge some more in doubles. Rafael Nadal won the title in Indian Wells this year with Marc Lopez, Roger Federer helped Yves Allegro out in Rome earlier this month; Andy Murray occasionally partners Ross Hutchins but more often than not, they have other priorities.

“The doubles game is at its best right now,” Bob Bryan says. “You do have singles guys playing which is a contrast in styles and it is beautiful to see when they do. It gives the fans a different experience as well. We’ve played Roger seven times and Rafa four times, so they do come in and play. Then there are the specialists who offer something different again.”

That is certainly the case with the Bryan twins, whose infectious free-spirited performances have done so much to keep doubles in the public eye. Long may they keep chest-bumping their way around the world.

12-15-2009 06:06 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

According to ESPN's Bonnie Ford, the twins are moving from Adidas to K-Swiss (Bob tweeted they were changing sponsors but didn't say who)
08-25-2009 01:21 AM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

so has the New Yorker mag, but only a part of it is available free online
08-25-2009 01:08 AM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

The New York Times Magazine has done a profile of the Bryans.

I've always thought there was something disturbingly homoerotic about the twins but this article brings it to a whole new level of creepiness. Crawling into bed with each other, 2000$ phone bills, joint bank accounts...

06-19-2009 03:05 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Thanks for posting that Deb!

Here is a new Adidas commercial w/ the guys
06-19-2009 06:41 AM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Great article!
06-19-2009 02:09 AM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Mike and Bob Bryan: 'I'm better than him – I kick his ass in practice'

The Brian Viner Interview: They're the fun-loving chest-bumping, show-stealing Californian twins who rule men's doubles – welcome to the parallel universe of the Bryan brothers

Wimbledon 2008 will be for ever remembered for the epic men's singles final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, although not by Mike and Bob Bryan, the 31-year-old twins from southern California who have been the world's top-ranked men's doubles pair for much of the past five years, and for a change found themselves on opposite sides of the net at the business end of a Grand Slam. Not that they could see each other too clearly as the mixed doubles final approached a conclusion.

"It was 9.20 and, like, pitch-black," says Mike. "But we all had plane tickets the next day and wanted to finish it."

"In the end no one could see a return," adds Bob. "It was, like, whiff city out there."

The mixed doubles title eventually went to Bob, and his Australian partner Samantha Stosur. But Mike still got half of Bob's winnings. "We made a vow a while ago that we would split everything equally from the mixed," explains Bob, "although I've calculated that I've won [he names a substantial six-figure sum] more than this guy."

"Don't put that on the record," says Mike.

"Why not?" says Bob, a glint in his eye. "All our money's together, it's one big mosh pit. I've contributed a little more to the pot, that's all. But we're at the stage where we maybe need to think about that. He's got a serious girlfriend now."

We are talking at Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire, home of a genteel grass-court tournament called the Boodles Challenge. But nobody ever associated gentility with southern Californians, and as white-suited men and high-heeled women clink Pimm's glasses on Stoke Park's immaculate lawns, it occurs to me that the Bryan brothers, whose signature mode of celebration is the ebullient chest bump, are just what the Boodles Challenge needs. "We picked it [the chest bump] up from the Jensen brothers actually," says Mike. "They played with so much energy, we idolised those guys. Then we came on tour and the older guys hated it, these two rookies bumping chests, not showing them respect."

It is a shame, I venture, that the Williams sisters have not picked up the habit. That could be a heck of a spectacle. "I played with Venus in the mixed at Wimbledon one year," says Bob, "and one time after we won a point she did come flying in to do a chest bump. I was quite scared, actually."

Chuckles all round. The Bryans are stimulating company, bright and funny despite being the nearest thing tennis has to a genetically engineered doubles pair. Their mother, the former Kathy Blake, was America's leading junior and became a top-30 singles player in the 1960s. Their father, Wayne, was also a professional player. And Wayne and Kathy owned and ran a tennis club, where from infancy their boys were immersed in the game. They won their first doubles competition aged six, but Wayne never allowed them to play each other in singles. When they were matched up in tournaments, they took it in turns to withdraw.

"It was a smart play," says Mike. "We both grew up dreaming of being No 1 in the world, but how are you going to do that if you're not even No 1 in your bedroom? It helped us to grow up motivated, because we both thought we were better, but nobody had the proof."

Bob had a better singles career, although never quite broke into the world's top 100. "I still think I'm better," says Mike, the elder by less than three minutes. "I still kick his ass every day in practice." Bob shoots him a withering look. "Do you?" he says.

Like Mike, Bob praises his father's motivational methods. "He was very smart at not just putting us on court and grinding us into the ground. He took us to college tournaments, to Indian Wells, to Agassi exhibitions. I first saw Agassi when I was nine or 10, just hitting the piss out of the ball, and I remember my parents saying, 'You've got to watch this guy, no one's ever hit the ball like this'. It was true, he revolutionised the power in the sport, but by the end of his career he wasn't hitting the ball nearly as big as everyone else. I played against him, actually, in one of my first pro matches, when I still had posters of him on my bedroom wall. He beat me, like, 6-4, 6-4, but I was proud of how I hung in there, and afterwards I told him how he was my idol growing up. He's kind of taken us under his wing. And there was one time he was on the Davis Cup team with us, which was cool."

The Bryans remain a vital ingredient in the United States Davis Cup team, no less than their more illustrious team-mates James Blake and Andy Roddick. "The Davis Cup is really the biggest stage doubles offers," says Bob. "It's pretty much the swing point of any Davis Cup tie."

In 2005 it seemed as though the Davis Cup might become the only big stage for doubles. ATP Tour officials tried to decree that players could only compete in the doubles if they were entered in the singles draw, which the Bryans, along with many other specialist pairs, considered a threat to their careers. They filed a lawsuit. "Pretty much every doubles player in the top 50 put their own money in, from a couple [of] hundred bucks to, like, $10,000," says Bob. "But we were lucky because the Tour then got a new CEO, Etienne de Villiers, a great guy, who knew that doubles was part of the show. The hard-core fan loves doubles. Of the guys who play recreational tennis, 90 per cent play doubles."

"Etienne became a good friend," adds Mike. "He took us to an Arsenal soccer game. It was the first soccer game we'd been to and it was a zero-zero tie. He was devastated."

De Villiers has now left his ATP role, but part of his legacy is the health of men's doubles. "It's at the best level it's ever been," says Mike. "There are big names on court, too. At Indian Wells this year we played Federer in the first round and Nadal in the second round. They don't have great doubles skills, but it's good to get the power of the groundies [the groundstroke specialists] versus finesse and quick hands at net."

Bob elaborates. "Doubles is a different sport almost," he says. "You've got to have poaching skills, and the return has to be more precise, you've got to hit it low at the guy's shoelaces. In singles you see Federer hit a big serve and the guy will just chip it back, but if you do that in a doubles game, the point's over. Also, you don't get too many young guys out there who can volley, because kids grow up banging from the baseline and volleying is a skill that takes a long time to develop. Doubles players get better with age. Leander Paes just won the French [Open, with Lukas Dlouhy] and he's 36."

Longevity also hones the communication skills doubles players need, and that the Bryans have almost by telepathy. "You never leave a hole down the middle in doubles, and we do that without even thinking," says Mike. "And we complement each other well. He's a lefty, with a huge serve, and I hit a pretty decent return."

Presumably, though, being twins can hinder as well as help? When's the last time they got furious with each other on court?

"Yesterday," says Bob.

"We have to be careful with our word selection on court," Mike adds, "but we button it up pretty well in the Davis Cup and the Grand Slams."

"What did I say yesterday?" Bob asks.

"You told me I sucked," Mike replies.

They smile together, as they have done everything together throughout their lives. After high school they went to Stanford University together, partly at the encouragement of a man who had graduated a year before them, Eldrick "Tiger" Woods. "Stanford had him recruit us to go," says Bob. "He, like, turned up at one of my matches in Michigan and said he'd love it if we went there. I remember asking him if he was going to turn pro, because there were rumours that Nike were going to give him $60m. And he said, 'I can't tell you,' nodding his head. The next week he was all over the news."

These days, the brothers share a house in their hometown of Camarillo, California. "But we train in Campbell, Florida," says Mike. "That's our residence right now. Put that in the paper. It will help for tax purposes."

Their contribution to the US Treasury, if hardly on a par with that of their fellow Stanford alumnus Woods, must still be substantial. Not since 2004 have they failed to win at least one Grand Slam title, and they estimate that their income combined is about that of a top 10 singles player, which makes them decidedly wealthy young men. Moreover, Bob's mixed doubles success has continued since Wimbledon last year; with Liezel Huber he won the French Open title earlier this month. But I suggest that for Britain's own Jamie Murray that must have stuck in the craw – wasn't Huber meant to be his partner?

"He didn't think he would get into the tournament because his ranking had dropped," claims Bob. "He was like, 'Liezel, you'd better go find someone else,' and one hour before the sign-in, she said to me, 'Let's go'."

If Murray is feeling hard done by, there was at least some revenge at British hands in the subsequent Ageon tournament at Queen's Club, when, amazingly, the Bryans were defeated in the first round by the little-known Colin Fleming, a Scot, and Ken Skupski, from Liverpool. Fleming and Skupski were respectively ranked 165 and 148 in men's doubles, but the Bryans, who enter Wimbledon next week as top seeds, expect those rankings to soar. "I expect them to be a real good pairing," says Mike. "They played well. And actually it wasn't so bad for us to take a loss and put our rackets down for four or five days."

When they put down their rackets they usually pick up instruments. Music is their great passion outside tennis, and they ask me to publicise the gig by The Bryan Brothers Band, in which Bob plays keyboard and Mike drums and guitar, a week tomorrow in Wimbledon village, nine until midnight. There seems to be some doubt about the venue, but they shouldn't be hard to find. They're tall, boisterous, and there are two of them, generally enjoying life. "We love London," says Mike. "Yeah, says Bob. "There's great food, great shopping, great TV, it's our second home."
12-23-2008 03:59 AM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

A duo that's doubly blessed

By Dave Scheiber, Times Staff Writer

Published Monday, December 22, 2008 8:24 PM
They have played before countless crowds around the world, won each of tennis' crown jewel events for a career Grand Slam and are the first men's doubles team to rank No. 1 four times in a five-year span. But two months ago, 30-year-old identical twins Bob and Mike Bryan found themselves on a different kind of stage — and feeling more than a little nervous before the 25,000 spectators hanging on their every move. Of course, these moves had nothing to do with hitting winners on the hardcourts of the U.S. and Australian opens, the grass of Wimbledon or the clay of Roland Garros. They involved Bob serving up a keyboard solo and Mike taking a swing at acoustic rhythm guitar with a little solo of his own, while sitting in with the Counting Crows at the Ford Amphitheater in Tampa. "That was a dream come true," said Bob, sitting with Mike in the weight room at the Saddlebrook Resort, where they live and train part of each year. "It's something we've really dreamed about for a long time, playing on stage with an incredible band like that."
The Bryan brothers have been big fans of the band since the 1990s. They met Counting Crows drummer Jim Bogios last summer at Wimbledon and helped him get tickets to the men's singles final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
"I hit on the grass with him at the All England Club, and he wanted to repay us," Mike said.
They helped Bogios with tickets again at the U.S. Open, where they won the title a second time in September, and the drummer mentioned that they should plan to sit in with the band for a song on tour. Just in case, Bob learned the song Bogios suggested, Hanging Around, but as time passed, they forgot about it.
"I thought he was just throwing it out to be nice," Mike said. "But we were flying in to Tampa the night of their concert, and I get a text when we land that says, 'You guys are sitting in tonight. You're not getting out of it.' And I started getting nervous, thinking no way is this happening."
But their rock concert debut went off without a hitch — one more harmonic moment for a chart-topping tennis twosome doing a lot more these days than hanging around.
Doubles is traditionally overshadowed by the glitzier singles game and marquee names that put fans in the stands. But since establishing their dominance in 2003, the Bryans have done their part to enhance the profile of the pursuit — and they've given the United States a firm grip on doubles play in the process.
That was more evident than ever in December 2007 in Portland, Ore., at the 32nd annual Davis Cup. Bob, a left-hander who is 6-4, 200 pounds, and Mike, a right-hander who is 6-3, 192 pounds, employed their aggressive, attacking style to sweep Russia's Nikolay Davydenko and Igor Andreev.
Their 7-6, 6-4, 6-2 triumph clinched America's first Davis Cup crown in 12 years. It was their 13th doubles victory in 14 Davis Cup appearances, and the crowd of 13,000, along with a national television audience, saw the exuberant brothers complete the momentous win with their trademark chest bump.
"That was the peak of our career," Bob said. "It was a five-year process with ups and downs, being together with the same team (including Andy Roddick and Tampa's James Blake) the whole way through — and winning it in the U.S. was amazing."
"We'd dreamed of playing in Davis Cup since we were 10 years old," Mike added, "and every match we played felt like a Grand Slam final."
They know something about that. From 2005 to 2006, the Bryans competed in seven straight Grand Slam finals, an Open Era record. They've earned 49 ATP victories and an Olympic bronze. And though they slipped to No. 2 in the world in their final match of 2008, with Bob bothered by a lingering shoulder injury, they're looking for a return to the top when the 2009 campaign begins Jan. 19 at the Australian Open.
"We just want to get better every day, because every year the game gets better," Bob said. "We want to stay healthy and do this as long as possible, because it's a great gig."
• • •
There was little doubt that tennis would take hold with the twins, born prematurely at 4 pounds, 2 ounces in Camarillo, Calif. — Mike older by two minutes but Bob having the edge in length by 3 centimeters.
Their father, Wayne, a lawyer and performing musician, was the manager and pro at a local tennis club; their mother, Kathy, competed at Wimbledon four times, reached the mixed doubles quarterfinals in 1965 and taught at the same club as her husband.
The parents never pushed the boys to play. Instead, Wayne took them to college and pro tournaments to watch top players compete, and their passion for the sport evolved naturally.
"We developed idols, and we couldn't wait to play," Bob said.
When it came to lessons, the boys learned in a group rather than receive individual instruction. "We were always just running around with rackets in our hands, and my dad really made it fun for us," Mike said. "We had big group clinics every day, and we'd play games and never knew that we were working so hard. We played four hours a day since age 6. And being twins, we would just push each other."
As their skills developed, they would write down their goals and place them on the refrigerator, starting with winning trophies to qualifying for tournaments on the road to earning a college scholarship at Stanford.
Wayne and Kathy did have a few key rules for their children: doing well in school was a must; and reading took priority over television (in fact, they had no TV in the house). The boys would play tennis for four hours a day, eat dinner, then do homework for several more hours. "We were perfectionists; we never wanted to get B's in school, so we'd help each other out," Mike said.
One other rule: Bob and Mike were not allowed to play each other in the youth and junior tournaments. They took turns defaulting if they were to face each other, including about 30-40 times in the finals.
"As a result, we never really became competitive against each other on the court," Bob said. "We were supportive and became good friends and doubles partners. It would really have affected our psyches if one was dominating the other one. You never want to lose to your twin brother."
• • •
Bob became a standout junior and collegiate singles player, ranked No. 1 nationally, with Mike just a notch behind him. But there was never a doubt they would play doubles as pros.
"Getting to experience this with your twin brother is really special," Mike said. "We have our disagreements, but we're never jealous. It's always sharing — that's the bond we have."
They also have their own music act, the Bryan Brothers Band, with a full recording studio in their California home. They have to approve of each other's girlfriends. And they divide investments and prize money (more than $5-million over 10 years) equally.
But the Bryans discount any notion that being identical twins gives them some intuitive edge. Instead, they point to the thousands of hours they have worked and played together.
Says Hall of Famer Tony Trabert: "They're tall guys, and being a righty and lefty can be effective. But the other thing is that they're such good friends and they play so much together, they know what the other is going to do, or not do. That's very important."
Wayne has written a book on the parenting approach he and Kathy took titled Raising Your Child to be a Champion in Athletics, Arts and Academics. They couldn't be prouder of their sons.
"It's not what they've accomplished in tennis," he said. "I'm happy they've achieved all their goals, because they have. But what we're most proud of is the kind of people Mike and Bob are and how they treat other people. That's what counts most."
Whether counting wins, counting blessings or Counting Crows.
Dave Scheiber can be reached at or (727) 893-8541.

Fast facts
Career highlights
Web site:
Career doubles record: 522-190
Titles: 49 (fourth most in the Open Era, behind Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde with 61, Peter Fleming and John McEnroe with 57 and Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan with 57)
Hot streak: The Bryans are the first men's doubles team to rank No. 1 four times in five years (2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and were ranked No. 1 in 2008 until a loss in their final match of the season. Woodbridge and Woodforde also finished No. 1 four times (1992, 1995, 1996, 1997) in six years.
Lefty-righty file: The top two 2008 men's doubles teams pair a left-hander (Daniel Nestor/Bob Bryan) and a right-hander while the other three are right-handers. About 20 percent of all identical twins have one right-hander and one left-hander. Nestor (with Mark Knowles in '02, '04 and Nenad Zimonjic in '08) or the Bryans have been No. 1 since 2002.
11-25-2008 07:05 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

the guys was on Tennis Pro, (is an argie program about the other side of the tennis players, the "owners" of the program are chela, zabaleta and gaudio )

thanks to alexito for upload the video
11-09-2008 03:23 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

thanks great article
11-09-2008 02:48 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Thank you Doris
11-09-2008 02:09 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Bryan Brothers Remain Doubles' Dynamic Duo

© Getty Images
Bob and Mike Bryan won their sixth Grand Slam at the US Open in September.

Published: November 7, 2008

Americans Bob and Mike Bryan could go down in history as the greatest team to play the game, but they're building more than a personal legacy. Their success, energy, and popularity on and off the court has injected ATP Doubles with renewed life.

Just weeks after winning the US Open, Bob and Mike Bryan found themselves in front of 25,000 screaming fans. But on this occasion, the twins had left their racquets at home and donned different instruments to entertain the crowd.

With Bob on keyboard and Mike on a rhythm acoustics guitar, the 30-year-old Californians rocked alongside the Counting Crows in Tampa, Florida, joining the band on stage for the song 'Hanging Around'. Midway through the song, which featured small solos for both brothers, lead singer Adam Duritz introduced Bob and Mike to the crowd, who roared their approval.

"It's been a childhood dream of ours to be rock stars and I've had dreams of playing in front of that many people," said Bob, who occasionally performs as part of the Bryan Bros. Band with Mike. "So it was great to finally become a rock star – even if it was just for six minutes."

While their musical career may be on hold for the time being, their rock star status extends beyond the concert stage to their day jobs as the world's best doubles team. And when the Bryans return to Shanghai as the top-seeded tandem at the Tennis Masters Cup, the fan favorites can expect another rousing reception.

In the past few years, the Bryans' star power – both on and off the court – has grown in tandem with the increasing popularity of ATP Doubles. The photogenic Americans have rung the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, rubbed shoulders with the likes of Oasis and Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Brit Awards, and been featured in People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue in the "Doubly Delicious" section. Their inaugural charity gala for the Bryan Brothers Foundation in September counted Andre Agassi, comedian Jon Lovitz and musician Gavin Rossdale among the entertainers.

While this celebrity can be seen as the perk of their standing as the top doubles team for much of the past six years, it is also viewed as a responsibility by the Bryans, who understand that their reputation and performance helps fuel the status of the tandem game. Mike said, "One of our big goals is to see doubles thrive. By doing well and winning a couple Grand Slams, being No. 1, it does help doubles. Fans like to see the twin dynamic out there. It makes doubles more popular."

The twins have all the makings of a dream doubles team. Left-hander Bob employs a huge first serve and a world-class forehand while right-sided Mike, older than his brother by two minutes, boasts explosive returns. They've developed an instinctual ability to read each other that they claim is incomparable on tour, and have had years of practice to sharpen their doubles skills.

"Doubles is a game where there are so many facets, so many shots you have to learn, so much strategy that it takes a long time to develop into a great doubles player," said Mike. "We've been working on doubles – not just singles – since such a young age and have developed a lot of skills that you need to be great doubles players. Overall our games really complement each other."

And whereas other players easily move on to new partners when the going gets tough, the Bryans are committed to their on-court partnership for life.

"Even if one guy is unhappy about the way a match goes, there's no question of effort," said David Macpherson, their coach of three years. "That's why they always pull together on court and they're getting better and better as they get older. They rarely look back and say they didn't focus or play well together. That's what makes them so tough – they really make opponents beat them."

Last year, the Bryans became the first team in the Open Era to finish as the No. 1 team four out of five years. Their achievements during that span include reaching seven consecutive Grand Slam finals between the 2005 Australian Open and 2006 Wimbledon, completing the career Grand Slam in 2006, and collecting a career-best 11 titles and the Davis Cup in 2007.

By their high standards, the Bryans got off to a slower start this past season. They went title-less through the first three months despite reaching four finals, marking their longest title drought to start a season since 2003. Macpherson says, "It was a frustrating time for them. Part of the psyche of being No. 1 is when you get to the final, you need to finish the job."

They finally broke through to win their first title at the ATP Masters Series tournament in Miami, then followed with wins at Barcelona, the Masters Series events at Rome and Cincinnati, the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics – which proudly hangs from the chandelier in their dining room – and their sixth Grand Slam title at the US Open.

The Bryan twins have appeared in 13 career Grand Slam finals

Heading into the Tennis Masters Cup, the Bryans have their sights set on another milestone: their teams 50th title, which would place them seven back of Peter McEnroe/John McEnroe and Bob Hewitt/Frew McMillan, and 11 shy of the all-time record held by Australians Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde. Mike said, "It's in the back of our minds that it's in reach. If we stay healthy, it's conceivable that we can catch these guys. But just to be mentioned in the same breath as the Woodies is flattering and humbling."

Macpherson, who played against both the Woodies and the Bryans during his doubles career, compared the two teams: "The similarities they have is that for a doubles team, they're very good from the baseline. Lots of tough doubles teams can be great returners and volleyers, but they don't have the consistency and power on second, third or fourth shots. The Woodies were great on forehand, and the Bryans are the same. The Bryans are all court players."

Considering that many of the best doubles players play well into their 30s, the Americans have a good shot of breaking the Woodies' record. Should they continue to win five titles a year as they have since the 2003 season, they would overtake the record by their 33rd birthdays.

But health will first need to be on their side, a factor that could be helped by the once-controversial Match Tie-break that has been embraced by players and fans alike since its introduction in 2006. Bob said, "It's saving our bodies so we'll have longer careers. It's exciting for the fans. It's caught on, and all the players are positive."

This season, the Bryans had been limited to just two tournaments following their US Open triumph (1-2 record) due to Bob's left shoulder inflammation. As a result, Mike flew solo for the first time in Davis Cup action, playing with someone other than his brother in the semifinals against Spain. It was just the fifth time in ATP-level action and the first time since 2002 that Mike had partnered a different player. (Bob hasn't played with anyone else at the ATP level.) The eight days also marked the longest time the Bryans had been apart in six years. "It felt like a piece of me was missing," joked Mike.

Prior to the match, Mike made sure to develop a different celebratory move with temporary partner Mardy Fish in order to reserve the Bryans' signature chest bump for his brother. Though Mike and Mardy ended up winning the match, they managed to try out the '180 back bump' just once in front of the Spanish crowd. "The fans hated it," Mike said with a laugh.

Chinese fans can rest assured that the trademark chest bump will be back in Shanghai, where the Bryans are looking to clinch their third Tennis Masters Cup title and become the first team to finish No. 1 for four straight years (Woodbridge and Woodforde finished No. 1 from 1995-97). In doing so, they could further augment their status as arguably the best doubles team to play the game.

"They're still going so they can rack up a few more titles to really make a genuine argument that they're the best of all time," said former college teammate and ATP pro Paul Goldstein. "It's great to have that conversation, it's fun, but I'll tell you, I'm much more proud just to be friends with them… Success hasn't changed them one bit. The same energy that they bring to the tennis courts is the same energy that they bring to their lives everyday."

It may be fitting that one of the greatest teams the sport has seen is playing at a time when doubles is on the rise. According to the twins, the game is healthier than ever with the top doubles players battling teams comprised of the best singles players, matches showcased on stadium court, and doubles packaged in a way that can sell tickets.

And in a large part, the Bryans can thank themselves for the role they've had in injecting the doubles game with heightened energy and interest.

"The in-your-face style of tennis that Bob and Mike bring to the court is so aggressive and fun to watch," said Delray Beach ITC tournament director Mark Baron. "Sometimes it's easy to overlook their greatness, and that they are on track to become the top doubles players in the history of our sport."

Mike said: "It was never our goal to be considered one of the greatest teams to ever play. You always dream of playing on the pro tour, hopefully winning Grand Slams, of being No. 1; it's achievable, but you never think you're actually going to do it… It would obviously be a thrill, but there's still a lot of tennis to be played."

10-09-2008 03:39 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Bryans Have Plenty To Crow About

Stanford ATP Doubles Race leaders Bob and Mike Bryan have played to some big crowds during their careers. But nothing quite prepared them for the buzz of rocking with Counting Crows in front of 25,000 fans at Tampa, Florida last Friday.

The 30-year-old California twins joined the band on stage for the song 'Hanging Around.' Bob played keyboards, including a solo midway through the song. Mike played a rhythm acoustics guitar, including a brief solo. "It's been a childhood dream of ours to be rock stars and I've had dreams of playing in front of that many people," Bob said. "So it was great to finally become a rock star - even if it was just for six minutes."

The Bryans are friends with band member Jim Bogios, hooking up the drummer with Centre Court tickets to the Nadal-Federer final at Wimbledon this year and tickets during the US Open. "Jim mentioned to us that he'd like to get us on stage with the band. We didn't think he was serious but everyone in the band was on the same page," Mike said.

But a two-hour flight delay from the West Coast Friday almost cost the Bryans their dream. After landing late in Tampa they rushed to the Ford Amphitheater. "When we landed we were worried about the time but we got a text from Jim saying 'You can't get out of this now. You're going to be sitting in with us for Hanging Around.' That's when we started getting really nervous," Mike said. "Bob has had extra time to practice (keyboards) in recent weeks because of his shoulder injury, and in the car to the concert he brushed up on a mini keyboard on his iPhone. He really got it tight and played brilliantly."

Midway through 'Hanging Around' lead singer Adam Duritz introduced Bob and Mike to the crowd, who roared their approval.

The Bryans are practicing at Saddlebrook this week and with Bob's left shoulder steadily improving , they expect to play the ATP Masters Series event in Madrid, which begins Sunday. Bob has been sidelined since winning a second US Open title with Mike in early September. Mike's only appearance since then was a five-set Davis Cup win with Mardy Fish against Spain in Madrid almost three weeks ago.

*Listen to the brothers playing in Hanging Around. Bob's keyboards solo starts at 2:26 into the clip, with Mike's guitar solo starting around 3:30. (Note: Counting Crows have granted permission for the track to appear on Download Audio (7Mb) by right clicking and selecting 'Save Target As.'
08-14-2008 03:19 PM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Thanks for posting the article Kate.
08-13-2008 12:37 AM
Re: News, articles about the twins...

Two For One
By Richard Pagliaro
Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Magnetized mementos, menus and meal plans may cram the face of your refrigerator door. But if you grew up in Bob and Mike Bryan’s boyhood home in the heart of the strawberry capital of the country — Camarillo, California — you would have reached for your morning milk only to find the refrigerator feeding you a life plan of ever-expanding goals that grew to rival the family grocery list taped to the refrigerator door.

"From the time they started playing tennis as 6-year-olds Mike and Bob always wrote down their goals and taped them on the refrigerator along with their schedule for the year so every day they saw them," says father Wayne Bryan, a World TeamTennis coach of the year, who along with his wife Kathy, a former Wimbledon mixed doubles quarterfinalist, served as the twins first coach. "Putting their goals and schedule on the refrigerator gave them perspective: a looking backward at the results they already had and a looking forward to what was ahead. They always had maximum motivation and always had goals posted on that refrigerator as a reminder: first to be No. 1 in the 10s, then to be the top team in the country, earn scholarships to Stanford. And the ultimate goal was always to win all four Grand Slams as a doubles team, be the No. 1 team in the world and help the USA win the Davis Cup."

They completed that career quest last December.

The Davis Cup was all but wrapped up in a red, white and blue bow after Andy Roddick and James Blake swept singles matches to move the Americans to within one win of winning the Cup that was born in the USA. America’s top singles stars turned the task of completing the Davis Cup quest to tennis’ top-ranked team.
Hurling their bodies around the court with the abandon of stunt men, the twins, whipped the 12,000 fans packed inside Portland's Memorial Coliseum into a chest-bumping, fist-pumping frenzy as they transformed a tennis match into an extended family reunion on court by bringing Dwight Davis' Cup back home.

It was both the culmination of a quest and the completion of a career’s worth of goals. The 30-year-old twins, whose 2006 Wimbledon triumph made them only the third team in the Open Era to complete a career Grand Slam, cite the Davis Cup championship as their most rewarding victory.

"You all know what's riding on the match. You got guys you want to win for," says left-handed Bob Bryan, the taller twin by one inch at 6-foot-4. "Winning the Davis Cup is the pinnacle of our career. The Davis Cup is so meaningful because we did it as a team and to have that celebration with the guys in Portland is something we’ll never forget. That’s the one that has the most pop: people see us it he airport and congratulate us and thank us for helping bring the Cup back home to America. That’s the win people really appreciate the most."

They flipped the switch from the days of chip-and-charge to doubles their brash crush-and-rush style in amping up the volume on the game. The brothers who play charity gigs together fronting The Bryan Brothers Band play tennis in the key of E in exuding exceptional effort and enthusiasm in each match.

The ITF has named them the Doubles World Champions for a record setting five years in a row, they have contested nine of the last 12 Grand Slam finals and they have ended four of the past five season as the world’s No. 1 team.So just how good are the Bryan brothers?

"They're the best team in this era," Hall of Famer Jim Courier says. "They're 30 years old and still at the top year after year. The interesting thing about doubles right now is most of the teams in the top 10 are over 30. We're seeing fewer greater teams at a younger age and that will help the Bryans as well because there's no team like them. Coming out of the juniors those guys were groomed for doubles success, they focused on it, worked toward it, they're very intense and their skill sets complement each other perfectly for doubles. Short of injury, I don't see anyone out there who can keep them from dominating for the next few years.

They have no plans on slowing down anytime soon.

"We feel we’re at our peak now and I don’t see us going anywhere anytime soon," says Mike Bryan, the older brother by two minutes. "We love what we do, we like our careers and we see you can play doubles until your mid 30s. We are some of the youngest guys still in the top 10 and we saw how long Todd Woodbridge played. If we stay healthy, we like to think we’ve got another five years left so there’s still a lot we want to accomplish and we’ll see how our bodies hold up."

The twins own 47 tournament titles which places them fourth on the list of doubles teams in the Open Era behind three of the greatest doubles teams of all time: John McEnroe and Peter Fleming and Bob Hewitt and Frew McMillan (57 titles) are tied for second behind the Open Era doubles leaders, Australia’s Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, who stand atop the all-time list with 61 career titles.

Can the Bryans, the first doubles team in Open Era history to reach seven straight major finals, eclipse the Woodies?

"As far as breaking the Woodies record there’s no question they can," say Darren Cahill, who coached both Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi to the World No. 1 ranking. "They are two of the hardest working young men I've ever seen in singles or doubles. There’s no question they deserve to be at the top of the doubles rankings and they’ve got a lot of great tennis ahead."

John McEnroe, one of the men the Bryans are chasing on their persistent path toward tennis history, believes if the brothers stay healthy they will wind up winning the most titles of any doubles team in Open Era history.

"They could certainly go on and on because most of the top singles players don't play doubles anymore," McEnroe says. "And you've got a situation where the Bryan brothers are so committed to doubles, have been so successful and they seem to continue to improve. They play with a lot of energy, they keep positive and they never seem to argue with each other, which is amazing to me."

American tennis has suffered a bit of an identity crisis since the twins’ tennis idol, Andre Agassi, called it quits.

"It doesn’t take a genius to point the out problems," Agassi used to say when confronted with the annual "what’s wrong with American tennis?" question. "But creating solutions is much more difficult."

In many ways, the Bryan Brothers can serve as the solution: they are the poster boys for American player development program. Like the Williams sisters they have been bolstered by strong family support and bring an appetite for winning, an aptitude for improving and attitude of never backing down — the twins led the lawsuit that led to the ATP doubles reforms and once nearly came to blows with an opposing team in the locker room at the U.S. Open.

Both the brothers and sisters have been occasionally criticized for over-the-top style that skeptics say is over reliant on power and lacks finesse but in an era when title dialogues are being dominated by Spaniards, Swiss and Serbians, the Bryan Brothers and Williams sisters bring a toughness and togetherness and attitude that is exactly what aspiring American juniors should adopt.

Ultimately, the twins’ importance to tennis transcends their win-loss record. In the mind if the man many regard as the greatest doubles player ever, the twins born two minutes apart could create a rebirth for doubles.

"Doubles, in a way, is on life support," McEnroe says. "Doubles is like Davis Cup in that way that it doesn’t get the importance it deserves and it’s sad it’s become that way because most people who play tennis recreationally play doubles. But the fact that the Bryan brothers have been so successful and so dedicated to doubles and Davis Cup can draw attention to both, which is obviously important. They seem to be single handedly saving doubles."
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