An interview with:
BOB BRYAN and MIKE BRYAN
Q. There are not too many specialist doubles teams in Davis Cup teams, are there?
BOB BRYAN: No. I think that would have helped the doubles, you know, issues if there was more, you know, players playing like the Indians. If they played together, you could market that, and that would help our cause.
You know, Davis Cup is huge for us. It's a big match. I think doubles is the biggest in Davis Cup right now.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, they're a swing point.
Q. It's so crucial in so many ties.
BOB BRYAN: Yeah.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah.
Q. I wanted to ask about today's match. Did you have to alter any kind of strategy? The serving was really, really top-notch.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, we served really well. Played them five times last year and lost to them twice. They were all big matches.
I think today we actually played, you know, a few hours ago, we finished last night. So we were a little scared coming out, if we'd be a little flat this morning. But we brought the energy. Maybe it was the microphones that did it. We were pretty positive. We knew we had to play our best stuff because those guys had beaten all the teams, beaten us a few times. I mean, we did a few things, changed up a few things from last year.
But just had to play good tennis. I think we won every 3-All point, too, though, which happens, every decisive point.
Q. I don't know if you are aware, they made history today. They were the first Israelis to get as far as the semifinal round of the NASDAQ.
BOB BRYAN: I mean, they're great players, they're going to have good careers. They both serve big, both nice guys. I think that's a top 8 team for the next five years for sure.
Q. One other comment. I wanted to find out about scheduling. I was watching you play and Erlich and Ram and the spectators. In this community, as you probably know, there is a large Jewish community. We have a lot of people that are waving the Israeli flag. I was really hoping, even though it was an 11 o'clock start, that we would see a lot more enthusiasm for both teams. Do you feel if this would have been a night match it would have brought more of a Davis Cup atmosphere?
MIKE BRYAN: They could play it on the outside courts at one. It's always tough at 11 in the morning; people wake up and they get breakfast. I mean, we played our final at the US Open at 11 o'clock in the morning. It was the same atmosphere.
BOB BRYAN: It was the same.
MIKE BRYAN: It seems like the people start coming in at like 11:45. By the second set, it's half full.
But, I mean, if you play, you know, Roger and someone out there at 11, I mean, it's not gonna be completely full, I don't think.
BOB BRYAN: It's just a tough time. It's the first match of the day. Someone's got to do it, and we're happy to do it. We're happy to get on Stadium Court.
Q. By the same take, doubles players are pretty used to sort of going on court at midnight, one o'clock in the morning?
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, yeah.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, we're used to playing on courts that don't have stands. I mean, we're pretty grateful to play on Stadium Court. I think the new rule changes really help. They have to play seven matches on Stadium a week, which is huge for exposure.
Q. Can you guys talk about the Travis Parrott incident in Indian Wells.
MIKE BRYAN: You mean where he came in, paid for his hotel, and didn't get in the tournament?
BOB BRYAN: That's maybe another little, little kink that could be addressed in the whole format. I mean, he showed up. He's got to think maybe he has a chance of getting in. He signs in, he's first out. Lot of singles players in. You know, singles players sometimes pull out.
So it's unfortunate. Maybe they can do the advanced entry system again where he will know if he's in or out, then he can buy his plane ticket.
I know that system was used a little bit last year. I'm sure Gayle Bradshaw, the ATP Doubles Commissioner, has listened to Travis and will make some changes there.
Q. How good a job is Gayle doing in your eyes?
BOB BRYAN: He's doing a great job. He's keeping in contact with all the players, you know, sending e-mails. We're sending Gayle where we're playing. You know, we let him know if we're going to play LA later in the year so he can tell the tournaments, help promote that, and get us on the billboards and in the programs. I know he's thinking about all these issues every day. The ATP is really listening to the players now.
Q. You never really had a point person like that before, did you?
MIKE BRYAN: No.
BOB BRYAN: No, and Etienne is great, too. There's an e-mail -- any player -- what's the e-mail, Talk to Etienne at ATP?
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
BOB BRYAN: There's a new e-mail you can send Etienne, he'll read it that day and he will write a response back to you. You know, it's great. You feel like you have a voice now.
Q. I wanted to also ask you about the new challenge, how it affects doubles now. With doubles, I talked to the Israelis, and basically Jonathan said Andy was the one that saw the ball that was called out. In doubles, do the two people on the team have to agree, or can one of you call for a challenge?
BOB BRYAN: I mean, I think you'll see more challenges being correct just because you got two minds. Like we're going to come together. If I see it one way and he agrees, then we're going to challenge. But we probably won't use one if we're split.
So that one at the end was incredible. It was millimeters, and that was actually a huge point because we were up 2-0 there and it would have been over for sure and then it got a little weird. The momentum switched.
So I think the challenge, if you're right, it can be kind of a -- screw with your head, screw with the opponent's head.
MIKE BRYAN: You see they won the challenge, then he hit the next shot and was like, "C'mon."
BOB BRYAN: Yeah, got fired up.
Q. Just one last thing. I have to write a piece for the Queen's tournament.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah.
BOB BRYAN: We'll be there.
Q. You have good memories of that.
BOB BRYAN: We like playing there.
MIKE BRYAN: They do a good job with the doubles. They put the doubles in the program, they have feature match. Then they play doubles from first round on on Stadium Court. That's one of the tournaments that's kind of the model for doubles.
BOB BRYAN: That's the one we always said, "Why can't the other tournaments be like Queen's, be like Houston?" Those are the two tournaments we used as examples during the lawsuit, you know.
When doubles was struggling, the doubles at Queen's and Houston were flourishing. They put it on the program. They always have one or two matches on Stadium Court every day and great crowds. They write a little piece, you know, in the program like "These guys are doing this," "Look for this."
Q. What is the state of the lawsuit? Does it still exist?
MIKE BRYAN: It's dropped.
BOB BRYAN: No, we dropped it.
MIKE BRYAN: We dropped it. We're pretty much happy.
Q. You feel it had its purpose?
MIKE BRYAN: Definitely.
BOB BRYAN: I mean, everyone's seen a full turn by the ATP, by the players, you know. We're doing a better job. We're making more efforts on Kids' Days and doing more stuff for the tournaments. ATP is doing a better job of putting us on center courts and putting us out there in the programs, around the grounds. Fans are starting to see us more.
Q. Do you think the women should follow suit? In this tournament the spectators were confused during the doubles matches. They weren't sure if there was traditional rules in men's doubles.
MIKE BRYAN: I think they eventually should. I know they're probably going to change it all the way down the board, in college. They're going to change it back in USTA leagues.
But Grand Slams are going to stay the same. So, I mean, I don't want to say. I mean (smiling)...
BOB BRYAN: We like the format. I mean, all you have to do is go out there for an hour and give it, you know -- you don't have to worry about cramping, you don't have to worry about saving some. You just go out there, play hard for 55 minutes, an hour, and then you can go home.
Q. Is one of you going to play mixed doubles with Martina Navratilova?
MIKE BRYAN: Bob Bryan, yeah. She asked Bob the other day. They're gonna give it hell.
BOB BRYAN: You can't tell Martina no (smiling).
Q. Two lefties.
BOB BRYAN: We're going to give it --
Q. Which court?
BOB BRYAN: I'm going to play deuce, yeah. So we'll give it a shot.
Q. Who will you play with, Mike?
MIKE BRYAN: Corina Morariu. She's been my partner the last few times. She's good.
Q. Will you be together for the three Slams this year?
MIKE BRYAN: I think Martina, you committed to Martina for the last --
BOB BRYAN: We'll probably play French. Martina will probably dump me by Wimbledon (laughing).
MIKE BRYAN: She dumped me (laughing). She's gonna be good on the grass, though. You're gonna like playing with her. On the clay, it could be a little rough.
BOB BRYAN: I'm ready. Keep my hands out in front (smiling).
Q. A lot of people are asking Federer about the Grand Slam possibility all the time. Some people say, "Don't ask him, it's like spoiling a no-hitter for a pitcher." Do you think about a Grand Slam?
MIKE BRYAN: No, no.
BOB BRYAN: No, I think about it for Federer, though. I think he has a lot better chance than we have (smiling). His play is pretty ridiculous. It's gonna take great play by anyone to beat him.
But for us, I mean...
MIKE BRYAN: Doubles is a fine line. I mean, we could have lost last night to Haggard-Moodie. It comes down to a few points, a lot of stuff has to go your way, a lot of luck. There's two factors here; Bob could be playing terrible, I could play terrible, one of us could be sick, we could fight with each other.
But we'd love to get another one this year, maybe Wimbledon.
Q. What will the rules be at the majors? They won't use the ATP rules, or will they?
BOB BRYAN: They're gonna play the normal scoring. That's fine, you know. Grand Slams are pretty big. It's where you define your career. You want to play as much tennis as possible. You know, so we're looking forward to it.
Q. Next week you're facing Chile in the Davis Cup. What do you think about that match? They're tough. They won the Olympics with Massu and Gonzalez. What do you think about that match?
MIKE BRYAN: They're good.
BOB BRYAN: They're good.
MIKE BRYAN: They're good,
I mean, they beat us in the Olympics. We wanted a medal, and they took it away from us. They can play. Obviously, we like playing them on grass. They stay two back and it's hard to play baseline tennis on grass.
The doubles is gonna be huge 'cause, you know, Gonzalez made the quarterfinals of Wimbledon last year. He can beat anyone. So we're going to have to play well.
Q. Is your mother going to watch?
BOB BRYAN: She's allowed. My dad's not allowed within 300 miles (laughing). He gets too nervous. He's too jittery.