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Old 01-23-2008, 07:24 AM   #91
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Default Re: News, articles about the twins...

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegrap...012689,00.html

Quote:

Twin-win situation for Bryans
Article from: The Sunday Telegraph

By Chico Harlan

January 20, 2008 12:00am

AFTER their latest straight-sets victory - their 14th in a row at Melbourne Park - the Bryan brothers, reclining in the Rod Laver Arena cafeteria, were halfway through lunch and a card game when a visitor interrupted.

The brothers looked up from their table to see Martina Navratilova.

If the Bryans hadn't yet certified their reign in doubles tennis with their five grand slam titles, or with their two championships at Melbourne Park, or with their images alongside that of Roger Federer on the cover of the ATP media guide, or with their 77-9 win-loss record in 2007, then Navratilova's greeting sealed the deal.

Before making further small talk, she bent down and kissed them both.

Navratilova told the brothers they had done an awesome job in the Davis Cup final in December, where their doubles performance clinched a US victory.

"I tried to text you but I don't think you got it,'' she said.

"Maybe I don't have the right number.''

For years now, twins Bob and Mike Bryan have created the most recognisable (maybe the only recognisable) presence in doubles tennis. They've done this not by asserting their individual personalities but by combining them. Bob and Mike are two people only in the manner that fish and chips are two meals. On the court, they wear identical Adidas outfits, pull their socks up to identical lengths and win points with the announcer declaring:

"Game, Bryan-Bryan.'' Often, in celebration, they bump chests.

They attended the same university. They pledged to the same fraternity. They live together in Florida. They holiday together. They've gone on double dates together. They play in a band together called, naturally, the Bryan Bros. They are doubles partners nonpareil because they don't view themselves as partners.

"I look at him,'' Bob said yesterday, motioning toward Mike, "and it's almost like looking at half of myself.''

Even their principle differences, being that they are so minute, reinforce their oneness. Mike is older by two minutes. Bob is left-handed. Mike is 2cm shorter and 4kg lighter. Bob's jawline swells where Mike's tapers. Bob plays the keyboards, Mike plays the drums.

"He's more right-brained and I'm more left-brained,'' Mike said. "Or wait - maybe I'm more left-brained and he's more right-brained.''

When starting their professional tennis careers 10 years ago, the brothers - Bob especially - experimented with a run at the singles life.

The circuit's higher profile provided the motivation: singles tournaments carry more prizemoney, attract more spectators and almost always lead to more lucrative endorsement deals.

But singles also prevented the brothers from playing together - for them, a privilege, not a sacrifice. When Bob ranked just outside the singles top 100, on the cusp of qualifying for grand slams, Mike went out, found some partners and entered doubles tournaments. He won two titles. The brothers soon decided to combine forces, focus exclusively on doubles and hope that greatness in a secondary circuit would trump mediocrity on centre stage.

From almost the moment they became a doubles-only team, they also became its best. Even their apparel sponsor, Adidas, tied incentives into their performance as a team: as a brand, they carried more worth together than they did alone.

"We had a lot of dreams,'' Bob said, "and the only way to reach them was to cut singles out.''

"Now we're trying to make doubles more popular,'' Mike said.

"Still, it needs to be on TV. It was dying a few years ago. They were cutting into prizemoney. The top executives at the ATP wanted to do away with it. They were saying doubles doesn't sell a lot of tickets. But it's a great part of the game's history. It might not be the main course ...'' Bob interrupted and finished the sentence. "But it's a great appetiser.''

On the court, they form an ideal tandem, Mike specialising in the volley game, Bob dishing up a near-unbreakable serve. In 2006, when Navratilova played her final mixed doubles grand slam tournament, she chose Bob as her partner.

"I'm wondering why Bob's not playing singles with that serve - bloody hell!'' Navratilova said after they won.

But the Bryans have developed an answer for those who wonder. First of all, they grew up playing together, starting from age two. Their unspoken code of communication - the kind known only between twins - helped in doubles tennis, where spacing and timing determine effectiveness.

They never experienced sibling rivalry. When they began training in Florida, alongside singles players James Blake and Mardy Fish, they developed a keen awareness of the singles existence: it caused greater stress and provided less reward.

"I mean, Mardy finished 40th in the world last year and that's really good,'' Bob said.

"But he only won half of his matches. I don't know how much fun that is, to bat .500 and not win that many tournaments. That's probably what I would be, if not a little lower, in singles.''

Doubles, unlike singles, can love you back, especially when a team like the Bryans sweeps through early rounds of tournaments against hodge-podge partnerships formed only weeks, or days, earlier.

Playing together, the Bryans have won 44 titles. Before retirement, they'd like to surpass the record of 61 established by Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.

"Maybe a lot of the doubles specialists don't get the respect,'' Bob said. "It's like, they don't work as hard or they're not as skilled. Like it was just a fallback. But I think (other pros) know this wasn't just our fallback. It was our choice.

"I don't regret the decision one bit,'' Mike said.

"We've had too many highs to look back.''
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Old 02-17-2008, 09:30 PM   #92
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Bryan brothers enjoy their doubles life
By Darren Sabedra
Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:02/17/2008 01:44:51 AM PST

They're as anonymous in the sports world as middle relievers and third-string quarterbacks, but twin doubles aces Bob and Mike Bryan wouldn't have it any other way.

"I think we've got the perfect deal," Mike said.

The Bryans, who will come to San Jose this week for the SAP Open, have each topped $4 million in prize money. They're widely popular in tennis circles - so much so that they command appearance fees to play - but neither has to worry about being noticed at the grocery store.

"Mike and I have a great niche in the sport," Bob said. "(Andy) Roddick has to deal with a lot of pressure and media commitments. I'm sure he would like to go through an airport one time and not sign an autograph.

"Mike and I are famous in the tennis world, and that's great. It's great to go to a tennis tournament and have fans root for you and take pictures. But when we go home and want some privacy, we have it."

The Bryans, 29, are identical twins with far from identical personalities. "Bob is more of the leader of the team," Patrick McEnroe said. "Mike's a little more of a worrier. He's always worried about something."

McEnroe knows the Bryans as well as anyone in tennis. As captain of the U.S. Davis Cup team, he was on the sideline two months ago in Portland, Ore., when the brothers clinched America's first Davis Cup title in 12 years.

The Bryans are a machine on the court. They have finished No. 1 in the year-end world rankings four times and have won five Grand Slam titles, most recently at the 2007 Australian Open.

Off the court, the twins have never spent more than a week apart in their entire lives. They share homes in Tampa, Fla., and Camarillo, where they mostly resemble the odd couple. As Mike put it, "I'm doing the laundry, the dishes and packing the bags usually, and he's just watching TV on the couch."

Mike, who is two minutes older, is the one with the longtime girlfriend, and both joke that it will be a little weird when one or both of them marry. "I think we're going to eventually live on the same street or something," Mike said. "Twins got to stick together."

Despite the differences, the former Stanford stars co-exist with only occasional spats.

"I'm more left brain; he's more right brain," Mike said. "I think more (about the) future. I'm more of a planner. He's more creative. He's never on time. He's messy. I'm the one who has to keep the ship sailing smoothly."

Bob doesn't disagree. But, he adds, "He knows nothing about computers. I'm kind of the technology guy. We're a good match."

They've been a good tennis pairing since they were 6. The sons of former players - Wayne Bryan played in college; Kathy (Blake) Bryan played professionally - the chest-bumping twins were raised with rackets in hand. And doubles was always their forte, largely because Wayne Bryan, who managed his own tennis club for 25 years, wanted his sons to play together in college.

In many ways, playing doubles was the best of two worlds for the brothers. If one or both lost in singles, they'd always have a doubles trophy to bring home.

Bob would go on to win college tennis' triple crown for Stanford in 1998 - singles, doubles and team titles - and was on the cusp of a singles breakthrough as pro when he turned his focus strictly to doubles.

"He kind of made the sacrifice for me," said Mike, who also played singles but was slowed by injuries.

Bob isn't complaining. After all, he and Mike set an Open era record by reaching seven consecutive Grand Slam finals in 2005-06 and have won every major at least once.

"To be No. 1 in the world and to win Grand Slams and to win Davis Cup, it's a dream come true," Bob said. "I wouldn't change a thing. Every day I wake up, and I can't believe the way it has gone."

The Bryans' dominance is a welcome sight for teammates on the U.S. Davis Cup team.

"We wouldn't want another doubles team, that's for sure," Roddick said. "The amount that they do for tennis as far as kids clinics, they're always involved in that sort of stuff with their dad, really promoting the game of doubles. Their passion for tennis is up their with anybody."

Dick Gould, the twins' coach at Stanford, isn't surprised by their success. If they stay healthy, he believes they can flourish into their mid-30s.

"You learn you never underestimate what someone can do," said Gould, who will be at HP Pavilion on Tuesday to watch the Bryans play. "Being on the Davis Cup team has been a big boost for them. They love the team concept."

The twins enjoyed the ultimate team experience - and fulfilled a major goal - when the United States defeated Russia in the Davis Cup final two months ago.

"We never dreamed that this career would be as sweet as it has been," Mike said. "We always had dreams of maybe being No. 1, but never dreamed that we'd be No. 1 four times and dominate like we have the last few years."
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:41 PM   #93
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Default Re: News, articles about the twins...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deboogle!. View Post
"I think we've got the perfect deal," Mike said.
Thanks captain.

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The Bryans, 29, are identical twins with far from identical personalities. "Bob is more of the leader of the team," Patrick McEnroe said. "Mike's a little more of a worrier. He's always worried about something."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Deboogle!. View Post
Off the court, the twins have never spent more than a week apart in their entire lives. They share homes in Tampa, Fla., and Camarillo, where they mostly resemble the odd couple. As Mike put it, "I'm doing the laundry, the dishes and packing the bags usually, and he's just watching TV on the couch."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Deboogle!. View Post
Mike, who is two minutes older, is the one with the longtime girlfriend, and both joke that it will be a little weird when one or both of them marry. "I think we're going to eventually live on the same street or something," Mike said. "Twins got to stick together."
Oh man

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Bob doesn't disagree. But, he adds, "He knows nothing about computers. I'm kind of the technology guy. We're a good match."
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:39 AM   #94
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now I understand why I always felt Bob closer to me (although I loved both maths and English )

thanks Deb
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Old 02-18-2008, 01:02 PM   #95
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Maths and English rule.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:25 PM   #96
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of course
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:31 PM   #97
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:06 PM   #98
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:17 PM   #99
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:07 PM   #100
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:16 PM   #101
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:21 PM   #103
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:45 PM   #104
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:47 PM   #105
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