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Bob and Mike Bryan - semi-final

Thursday 4 July 2013

Bob and Mike Bryan speak to the media following their semi-final win in the gentlemen's doubles over Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

Q.  Probably the toughest match so far here.  You're through.  How do you feel about that happen one?

BOB BRYAN:  Feels good to be through.  You know, the two times we've won this tournament we've had these type of battles.  I don't know, you just build confidence that you can win it in sticky moments.

Now we're kind of battle tested and ready for the finals.

Q.  Did you at all think about last year when those guys played well against you?

MIKE BRYAN:  That didn't enter my mind.  I think it was their destiny last year.

Yeah, this team played really well, too.  They came out, nothing to lose.  I think it was the first time they played together.  I don't know how many aces they had.  They must have had like 50.

It was just a battle all the way through.  Just a couple breaks.  I think they did a chest bump, did they?

BOB BRYAN:  I hope not (smiling).

MIKE BRYAN:  Just heard the crowd go nuts.

Q.  At the end of the fourth when you lost the two match points and pushed it to a fifth, how were you feeling at that point?

BOB BRYAN:  It didn't feel great to have it in our hands and then have the match extended for another hour.  But I thought we did a great job of not saying too much at that moment.

It would have been very easy to make a couple [] snipey comments to each other, which could have kind of unraveled the vibe.

We did a great job of collecting ourselves and not saying anything, which we tend to do in those moments.  It's sometimes better not to talk.  'Cause as brothers and twins, you don't want to be coached by your sibling.



Q.  At what point did you start thinking Golden Slam?  After Roland Garros?

BOB BRYAN:  Just right now (laughter).

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, probably after Roland Garros.  I don't even think we were thinking Golden Slam.  Like we have a chance to get the slam.  I don't know what you want to call it.  I've been hearing the Bryan Slam.  Now you call is the Golden Slam.  It's pretty cool.

Definitely a great opportunity to do something a team's never done before, I don't think.  Yeah, we're just going to go out there and have fun.  There's not a huge amount of pressure.  We're going to try to go out and win the Wimbledon title, which we've done before.

We're playing kind of a fairytale team, [] Melo and Dodig, in their first Grand Slam final.

Yeah, we'll be tough to beat if we play well.

Q.  You just played back‑to‑back matches against guys who were partners until recently after being off again at the beginning of the year.  Do you know why they're not playing together?  Does it help or hurt to play these new combinations that are getting together?

BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, I mean, when you play a new team, sometimes you're playing a team during kind of their honeymoon period where they're excited and they haven't had any adversity in their career yet.  They haven't had, you know, tough losses.  Everything is fresh and new.  They're swinging for the fences.

You know, you face these teams all the time.  But new combinations do well right away sometimes.  They also do well when they say they're going to retire or they're going to split.  That's when you see the teams also have a run.

But, yeah, I mean, it is tough.  You have to get new game plans.  Usually we have a long history of game plans with the established teams.  When a new team comes together, you really have to watch some tape and figure out what they're doing different.

Q.  If you are able to win the final, what kind of achievement do you think this slam would be in your career?

MIKE BRYAN:  It would be up there.  Probably the highest achievement.  You know, it doesn't happen every day.  I mean, it would be really cool, I mean, to say that we've had a couple records.  To add this on top would just be really sweet.

You know, I don't think we're ever going to have a shot to do it again.  Who knows.  Last time I checked, we're 35, so...

This could be our one opportunity to do it.

BOB BRYAN:  If we win this one it will be, Oh, do the calendar year Grand Slam and we'll be answering questions about that.  When we won the Open last year we thought we broke the record, but it was the Open era Grand Slam record.

These type of records and achievements, there's a lot of 'em.  They're always out there.  You know, this one's extra cool.  There will always be something else to do.

Q.  The other day you said that old mother tennis was giving you a tough time.  What do you think mother tennis is doing these days to you?

MIKE BRYAN:  Very nice to us recently.  Ever since we took that week off after that Monte‑Carlo final, seems like we've been winning the swing points.

Yeah, it's been a helluva run.  Probably the best run we've had in our career.  For this amount of time during ‑‑ you know, this is a tough stretch of tournaments:  Madrid, Rome, Queen's, French, all the way through to the finals of Wimbledon.

Q.  Is it good to love your mother?


BOB BRYAN:  Yes.  Do the right things, live right, be nice to people, and hopefully karma will carry you for 24 matches.

Q.  What do you think the key to being a good doubles team is?  Is there any way to boil that down?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, I mean, you got to like your partner first.  You have to get along with your partner.

You know, it's great to be on equal footing.  As Bob said, you don't want to be coached by someone.  You got to be pumping up your partner, making your partner better.

When it comes down to games, you want a partner that complements your game.  Lefty/righty combination doesn't hurt.  A good server, return.  Fat guy, skinny guy, both fat (laughter).

Yeah, I think it takes time to build with a partner.  You got to play some matches.

Q.  You guys lost your first five‑set match here.  You won the last eight.  What does that say about you?

BOB BRYAN:  Uhm, I don't know, that we never give up.

MIKE BRYAN:  Our first one was against O'Brien‑Stark.

BOB BRYAN:  10‑8 in the fifth.  I remember that.

MIKE BRYAN:  It was a three‑day match.

BOB BRYAN:  I could probably tell you every other five‑setter we've played here.  These are the ones you remember, the ones at Wimbledon.  Grass court doubles is a war.  I mean, you got to really keep your head, because like we saw out there today, we were creating opportunity after opportunity, and Bopanna was just hitting chalk all day long.

It would have been very easy to get frustrated and go away, but I think it just kind of shows how well we compete in these matches.

Q.  Are you traveling with a physio?

MIKE BRYAN:  No, but we bring a lot of stuff on the road with us.  We definitely take care of our bodies more than we did in the past.  I mean, we're very professional.  We do ice baths.  All the singles guys do them, but we jump in there, too.

We're doing massage.  We got these compression machines.  It's kind of our new thing.  NormaTec.  It's like getting a massage.

Q.  You travel with them?

MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah.  It's like a box.  You put these sleeves on your legs and it inflates these different chambers up your legs.  That's our secret.

But, yeah, we have traveled with a physio, you know, just a week here, a week there.  We have a guy from London that helps us, so...

At this age I think it's huge just being healthy and feeling good.

Q.  You guys obviously had a bit of a challenge closing it out there, and then you decide to do a body serve.  What was your thinking?  How does it feel when you tie him up and it's done?

BOB BRYAN:  I think the body serve is under‑utilized in doubles.  It's a serve that takes away all their angle.  Especially on grass, when it's skidding, it's a serve that we like to use a lot.

Just didn't want to put anything in their wheelhouse at the end and give them like any real clean cracks at it.

That felt good to close it out.  It took a while to get the pickle out of the jar, like we say.

Q.  You mentioned the cycle that other teams go through.  Do you think for a team to challenge the records you're putting up they'll have to have more of a sibling relationship?

BOB BRYAN:  The sibling relationship might not even hold up under this amount of travel and stress.  It's maybe only the twin relationship that can stand this kind of test of time.

I definitely don't think just a normal partnership can hold up under this many years of ups and downs, you know, and finger pointing.

Unless you have the confidence that, you know, your partner's not going to be looking around for someone else after a heartbreak loss.  I mean, that's what we have.  We have that loyalty that no matter how bad I return, you know, during a stretch, I know he's not going to be talking to Nestor and texting Nestor.

Q.  Briefly to these five‑setters we were talking about, it sounds like you really enjoy them.  Is that the case?

MIKE BRYAN:  I mean, I think we try to win in straight sets.  It's fun to win the five‑setters.  The first year we won Wimbledon we won 10‑8 in the fifth our first round, and it kind of feels like you snuck through and you have the house's chips.  It's good to be battle tested.

I think we've won more five‑setters here because it's such a big tournament.  We don't freak out like we could do on a normal tour event.  We've matured over the years.

Like today, having those match points in the fourth and letting them slip, then we pulled together, our energy came together, and we stayed strong.

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