Bryan Brothers and Another Double Title

Written by: on 12th September 2010
Bob and Mike Bryan (USA)
Bryan Brothers and Another Double Title  |

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You guys talked about your emotions a little bit out there, but could you elaborate a little more on how you guys are feeling right now?

BOB BRYAN:  It’s just been a crazy summer.  You know, there’s so much emotion in LA after we won there.  You know, there was a lot of pressure building, and, you know, breaking the record in front of our whole family actually just released a lot of tension, I guess, that had been building.

We just ‑‑ maybe we were playing safe up to that point, but we kind of just ‑‑ the flood gates have kind of opened since and we’ve played the best tennis we’ve ever played.  This is the craziest summer we’ve ever had.  To win Toronto, Cincinnati and the Open is a dream come true.

Q.  You say best tennis you really feel like you’re…

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, I felt like there are pockets of this summer where I was kind of ‑‑ I was laughing at shots Mike was hitting, you know.  He was just…

MIKE BRYAN:  You had some good shots, too.

BOB BRYAN:  Hitting frozen ropes that were blowing my mind.  I’ve seen him play every day of my whole life, and I hope I was doing the same.

MIKE BRYAN:  You were doing pretty good.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Weren’t people saying the Bryans seem to be slipping?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, I mean…

BOB BRYAN:  Or was that just you, Bud?

MIKE BRYAN:  I don’t know who was saying it.  After we lost in the quarters in Wimbledon we went home, and that was our main focus.  We worked really hard for a couple of weeks in California.

As Bob said, after we won in LA, it felt like, you know, we have our small place in history.  The pressure was released.

BOB BRYAN:  Everything was just gravy.


Q.  Have you been in an atmosphere like today in a doubles match?

MIKE BRYAN:  No, not from the very beginning.  I mean, when we came out it was pretty full.  Usually they start filling in toward the end of the match, you know, waiting for the next match.

But they came out to see the doubles, which was really nice.

BOB BRYAN:  I’ve got to give Jim Curley and the USTA and US Open a lot of credit, because they were playing that final at 11:00 a.m. for many years, and it was just too early.

Just moving it back that hour and 15 minutes has really made the difference in the crowd, and it’s a lot more fun.

Q.  And you think the Indo‑Pak Express story…

BOB BRYAN:  Definitely.  I could see a bunch of Indians and Pakistanis out there at 10:15 a.m. when we were warming up.  I was looking around, and I’m like, We’re not going to have this whole crowd on our side for sure.

Q.  If you weren’t playing for the championship, would you have been on their side?

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, we would have been rooting for them.  Great guys.  It’s great to see another marquee team out there.  They’re gonna gather a lot of attention for doubles.  They’re going to be spokesmen for doubles, which we love.  I think this is gonna raise the profile.

Q.  What did Qureshi’s statement mean to you guys at the end?

BOB BRYAN:  It choked me up.  I could see him; he was quivering a little bit; he was very choked up.  Just to give that message to everyone was very heartfelt.  You know, even said before, he’s like, I’m gonna say something about Pakistan.  I hope you don’t mind.  I don’t want to steal your limelight.  We said, That’s great.

Q.  Does it make you realize there’s so much more to tennis than tennis?

MIKE BRYAN:  Oh, yeah, I mean, it’s just a match.  It’s a game, you know.  When it comes down to it, a lot of people in Pakistan who don’t have homes and are out on the street.  I mean, what they’re doing to bring India and Pakistan together is pretty special.

A sport can bring people together.  You know, these guys are gonna be great for the game for a long time.  Hopefully they stick together, and I think they will.  It’s gonna do great things for doubles and great things for everything.

BOB BRYAN:  What they are doing is a lot more important than winning the US Open.

Q.  Could you foresee, perhaps, going to both countries and playing exhibitions?

BOB BRYAN:  That would be great.  You know, we would love to do anything with those guys.  I’m sure those guys are rock stars in those countries right now.

We’ve seen what Mahesh and Leander have done for tennis in doubles over in India, and I could see the same sort of excitement behind these guys.  So we’d love to go over there and check it out, get a feel for what’s going on.

Q.  You’re riding a pretty big wave of emotion and good tennis right now.  Does that make it a little harder to not be going to Colombia?

MIKE BRYAN:  We support the team, and we’ve talked about it.  We’d love to go down there and help the team, but I think we have some ties left in us in the future.  We respect Pat’s decision.  He needs three singles guys.  We are going to enjoy a good week off.  I think we’re gonna go to Disney World.

BOB BRYAN:  It’s not often in tennis that you get a win and enjoy it.  It’s only a couple times of the year.  This tournament, Masters Cup, that’s it, you know.  This is going to be extra sweet, you know.  We’re going to go back and put the racquets down and let everything sink in.  It’s been a whirlwind summer.

Winning in LA, we were on the next flight morning, eight hours later going to DC and back in the meat grinder.  Same thing in Toronto and Cincinnati.  Just let it all process, start processing what’s going on.

Q.  Will the band be touring this fall?

BOB BRYAN:  Band has a couple September gigs.  We have some new songs we’re working on.  Looking for that second album to come out early of 2011.

Q.  World peace, maybe a world peace theme?

BOB BRYAN:  Exactly.

Q.  Qureshi was saying yesterday they had put up makeshift screens across Pakistan.  Does that awe you when you step back and think about that people are sitting around in squares on the other side of the globe watching you guys play tennis?

MIKE BRYAN:  It’s amazing how big it is back home for them.  Everyone knows Qureshi and Bopanna now back in those countries, and that’s amazing that millions and millions of people are going to be watching that match, doubles match, which is pretty cool that they’re rallying behind him.

BOB BRYAN:  Every time we’ve gone to an Indian restaurant we say, Do you know Leander?  Of course.  You know Leander?  We beat him.  No way.  Free meal.  I can imagine what these guys are going to become over here.

Q.  Does that not happen when you go to Waffle House?

BOB BRYAN:  That doesn’t happen with us.

Q.  Not even, Do you know Isner?


Q.  As for your performance on the court and those two tiebreakers, you were down a mini break right away in each one of those sets; you played amazing tennis.  I mean, the volleys, the shots that you withstood and the combinations you came up with were just mind boggling.  What do you think about, singles, best singles players on a doubles court, as well?  What about the doubles game, in your doubles game in particular, enables you to do that?

BOB BRYAN:  I think today we were phenomenal.  I mean, there was a 50‑miles‑an‑hour wind coming down the court, and I thought we were seeing the ball great.  I mean, it’s awesome when you can see the finish line.  There’s one more match to go.  You could leave it all on the line.

That’s what kept pushing us forward.  You don’t think about being down a mini break in a finals of a Grand Slam.

Q.  For a lifetime you’ve shared your career with the world.  You’ve made tennis in doubles what it is today.  What does that mean to you guys right now?

MIKE BRYAN:  I mean, we have the best jobs in the world and we love what we do.  You know, we’re happy to be campaigning for doubles and making doubles big.  I mean, it’s been great the last…

Q.  Do you think you’ve been successful with it?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, my dad, I think five years ago we were sitting in this room giving a press conference on trying to save doubles.

Q.  I remember.

MIKE BRYAN:  It was on its way out.  My dad worked behind the scenes for about a year and got it done, and with a lot of top players.  Now doubles is strong.  I mean, right out there it was just a packed house for a couple of doubles teams.

That was the best atmosphere.  That’s a TV match, which is huge.  So I mean, we’re very happy that we’ve been able to help doubles out.

Q.  Two years ago you won here, had the biggest bash in Manhattan ever.  What are you guys doing tonight?

MIKE BRYAN:  What are we doing tonight?  I heard J‑Lo has a party.  (Laughter.)  Might be there.

BOB BRYAN:  We’ll be somewhere.  We’ll be enjoying it.

Q.  Will you write a song to celebrate this occasion?

BOB BRYAN:  You’re a good writer.  Write me some lyrics.  I will give you the beat and you give me lyrics.

THE MODERATOR:  We actually have a special presentation.

(Presentation off microphone.)

Q. How much did you guys donate?

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, our foundation, we’ve given most of our money.  We are doing a big fundraiser on September 25th.  We’re hoping to raise lots of funds so we can get the foundation beefed up again.

We were going to do five grand right now, and hopefully do more in the future.  We’re doing two more, September and November.  So hopefully beef it up.

MIKE BRYAN:  Let’s go 10.

BOB BRYAN:  10, 15, 20, 25.

Q.  How did you feel after that ceremony right there?  What are your reactions to that?  How special does it make this occasion to you?

MIKE BRYAN:  To have the ambassador of Pakistani and India here, it’s a special occasion.  It shows that it’s bigger than just a tennis match.  And these are cool.  These are 5,000 years old.  Who knows?  Might make this into a couple of shirts.  (Laughter.)

Yeah, this might bring us luck in the future.  I want to wear this when we play those guys.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Growing up you guys had dreams of Davis Cup titles and Grand Slam titles.  Did you ever dream that these type of occasions would come into your life?

BOB BRYAN:  No, I mean, if we could have looked in a crystal ball and seen all that’s gone on in our career, probably would have had a heart attack and fallen over.

It’s been an incredible ride.  Yeah, I mean, every day we wake up proud of what we’ve accomplished.  You know, I think one of our proudest moments is helping in the fight to save doubles.

When we look back, that might be our biggest legacy, is being able to continue this part of the game and keep its place in the history of tennis.

Q.  Who could fill that void when you guys are gone?

MIKE BRYAN:  These two guys can, Qureshi and Bopanna.  I think they’re younger than us, right?

Q.  They’re 30.

MIKE BRYAN:  We’re still a little younger.  Maybe we should start having some kids.

Q.  Do you envision that day when there is a void that has to be filled?

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, it’s an interesting time in the sport, because five years ago, you know, doubles had been populated by singles players.  You know, as Nestor and Knowles retire, doubles players ‑‑ the numbers are going down.

I don’t want to see it where when we retire, you know, it’s just one player, because I think there is room in the sport for the doubles specialist.  It is two different sports, you know.  There are skills that we have that singles players don’t have.

We’re gonna do all we can to keep teaching the youngsters how to play.  And who knows?  I don’t know who’s gonna fill our shoes, but maybe Ryan Harrison.  Maybe we can convince him to quit singles.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Can you guys name what those skills are that you doubles specialists have over singles specialists playing the doubles sport?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, it’s the quick hands.  It’s, you know, the precise returning, the communication with your partner, knowing when to poach.  Yeah, if you play a lot of singles and you’re not sharp on your doubles, you can come up there and the ball is coming pretty quick.  Standing right at net, you feel like a fish out of water.

It takes a lot of years to ‑‑ you keep getting better at doubles until mid 30s.  Some of these guys are upper 30s and still playing top 10 doubles.  It’s basically just the quick hands that you need.

You know, in the singles game guys are standing on the baseline a lot.  You don’t see a lot of net play anymore.

Q.  Was the turning point of your match the first set tiebreak?  I think they were 3‑1 up and Qureshi had a forehand that was mishit.

BOB BRYAN:  It’s a blur to me.

MIKE BRYAN:  3‑1 up?  It was kind of a long point.  We were serving.  It was a big one.

Q.  Seemed like you kind of grabbed the momentum at that point.

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, we needed to get the mini break back.  I think they are a great front‑running team.  When they’re up, they play really well; when we’re up, we play really well.  Breakers go really quick.

We needed to get that back, and immediately.  The margin was really fine out there today.  Just a few points in that breaker.  You know, maybe we had the luck and the magic today.  They got us last time 6 and 5.  They won the breaker last time.

Q.  Do you have any predictions on the men’s semis tomorrow?

BOB BRYAN:  I think ‑‑ I mean, all four guys are playing amazing, but I think it’s gonna be Roger and Rafa in the finals.  They’re due.  They haven’t played much in the last couple years.  They’re going to show us another great match.

Q.  Do you think there is an advantage going into that for either of ‘em?

BOB BRYAN:  I think Roger is playing the best tennis of his career right now.  Rafa is kind of ‑‑ he’s the No. 1 guy, and Roger is quietly going about his business.  I think he’s gonna surprise everyone.

Q.  Can you just talk about the fight to save doubles?  Your opponents mentioned the same thing, they want to be part of that.  How much does the publicity and stuff that they’re getting from India and Pakistan, how much has that helped just to get more than…

BOB BRYAN:  It’s huge.  The more publicity that all the doubles players can do is great, you know.  Doubles players should never turn down a press conference, an interview, a photo session.  You know, we need to do all the clinics, and, yeah, just spread the word about this great game.

Yeah, we’re not saying no very often.  These doubles players should say yes and keep the word out there.

Q.  As much publicity as they’ve gotten recently, their play has also gotten much better recently.  Do you think maybe the inspiration they’re trying to bring to people by teaming up, maybe they’re inspiring themselves in their play because of that?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, it shows that they ‑‑ they’re a top team, and, yeah, maybe it’s lifting their games.  They feel like they’re playing for the world and playing with Pakistan and India.  They’re gonna be around for a long time, I think, if they stick together.

They do too many things well, big serving, they’ve got all the doubles skills.  It’s gonna be good to have just another high marquee team, high profile team out there.  It’s really going to help doubles.

BOB BRYAN:  They feel the better they play the bigger their platform is to get their voice across.  That’s extra motivation.  I talked to Qureshi, and I’m like, You know, you guys are going to go top 20.  That’s great.  You can get into the Masters 1000.

He says, I’m not looking at points or rankings.  That’s the right attitude.  He’s just trying to build that platform so he can do good.

Q.  They’re not trash talkers out there?

MIKE BRYAN:  Definitely not.  Humble, soft‑spoken guys.

Q.  When you won the Australian you switched sides.  Is that something you are gonna do periodically now or stick with this formation?

MIKE BRYAN:  We only did that for Nestor and Zimo.  I mean, we’re gonna stick on our sides.  I think we’ve won, you know, 60 titles on these sides.

Q.  Is that a tactic you’ll use against them?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, that’s where we throw a little wrinkle when we play them, and it’s worked a few times.  They are gonna be ready for it now, so we’ll see.

Q.  Have you ever received gifts from an ambassador before?

BOB BRYAN:  Davis Cup we’ve done some cool stuff at the embassies.  This stuff smells really good.  (Laughter.)

MIKE BRYAN:  It does smell good.  Smells fresh.

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