In harmony on and off the court
Bob Bryan, who teams with his brother Mike to form the highest-ranked doubles pairing in the world, is also a pretty mean keyboard player. The two, along with their father Wayne, have a band known simply as the Bryan Brothers Band. Mike plays drums, Wayne does guitar and Mike sets the tune.
Olympics are it
The Bryans, who own a career Grand Slam, still have a couple of ATP Tour records they are chasing, but their main focus for 2008 is winning gold in Beijing. Following their doubles win over Austria in February, Bob made the claim that there was only one thing they wanted this year. "If you put me on the spot and asked me to pick one we want to win most, it would have to be the Olympics," Bob told reporters in Vienna. "I would say only the Davis Cup and the slams can really (get the juices flowing) for us -- plus the Olympics."
In 2004, the Bryan brothers were knocked out by eventual gold medal winners Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu of Chile.
Keeping it light at home
When the brothers were younger and at the same tournaments, their parents, Wayne and Kathy -- both tennis coaches, the latter played in four Wimbledons -- would forbid them from playing one another. If they ever met in a draw, they rotated walkovers so each would have equal turns to advance on the junior circuit.
Champions in the making
The lack of jealousy from playing one another during their younger years may have led to one of the best things to ever happen to Stanford University. The duo decided to attend school there and helped the Cardinal to two consecutive team titles before turning pro in 1998. And even though the two only used up half their NCAA eligibility, their former coach still raves about having them for the little time that he did. "Just look at their energy in competition," Stanford coach Dick Gould told Inside Tennis in May of 2007. "You just have to take notice. So many players out there seem to be acting, to be pretending to play with enthusiasm. But the Bryans are always bouncing on their toes. They can't wait, they're always eager, they've got those chest bumps. They've got such a good communication -- such a feeling and a love for each other. ... Every day they honor the game. They're unbelievable embassadors."
Their third-consecutive year atop the Stanford ATP Doubles Race, the Bryans also became the first doubles team ever to hold the No. 1 spot four of five years. Their 11 tour titles marked the first time anyone hit double digits since 1996 when the legendary Australian team of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodford claimed 12. With 45 career doubles titles together, the Bryans trail the Aussies' record career mark by just 16.
Mike has participated in 17 Davis Cup matches and has partnered alongside his brother all 16 times that the he has played doubles for the United States. They own a 14-2 record, including a 6-0 record on clay. They are 6-2 on hard court, the type of surface to be used in Beijing. The duo was also a part of the 4-1 victory over Russia in December of 2007 where the U.S. won its first Davis Cup since 1995. Currently, the U.S. is slated to play Spain in September for the semifinals of the 2008 Davis Cup -- the Bryans are 1-1, with a loss to France in the quarters.
In it until the end
Even the best of brothers have their limits on how much time they can spend together, and while Mike has said the thought of splitting up has crossed their minds, he confirmed at the 2007 Australian Open that they wouldn't be finding new partners anytime soon. "It has crossed our mind when we have those tough moments, when we're fighting after a loss," Mike said to reporters in Melbourne. "We're in this together. We're going to finish our careers together. ... Obviously it hurts a little bit worse losing with your twin brother because, you know, he feels like he can say anything to me and I can say anything to him - and we usually do. ... I mean, we're having a great time doing this thing together.
Sibling rivalry If Mike ever brags about being two minutes older than Bob, the "younger" brother can always brag he has a better singles record at 20-40. Mike is sitting at 5-11.
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