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Why Bob Hid Baby News From Mike

Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Bryans© Getty ImagesThe Bryans claimed their 700th team win in Montreal last week.

World No. 1 doubles team Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan clinched their 700th team win in the second round of the Rogers Cup last week in Montreal. ATPWorldTour.com caught up with the American twins in Cincinnati on Wednesday to reflect on their historic career and their thoughts on Bob's pending fatherhood.

Bob: Next year, you’ll go through a new life experience, fatherhood. What was your reaction when you first got the news that your wife Michelle was pregnant?
It was a shock. We found out two hours before our first-round match at the French Open. I didn’t tell Mike because I didn’t want to rock the boat before the big match. I was on cloud nine and the news really put tennis and the match into perspective.  Even though we were having a rough three set match that day, I still had a big smile on my face and nothing could have brought me down.

Mike: How much are you looking forward to being an uncle?
I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going down to Miami with Bob after this tournament. We’re going to go find out if it’s a boy or a girl, so I’m excited. I can’t wait.

This past week at the Rogers Cup, you two won your 700th team match. How special is it to achieve another ground breaking milestone together?
Mike: We're very proud of the consistency we've been able to maintain over the past 10 years. We work hard in the gym to prevent injuries and prepare for each match as well as we can. 700 is a number we are happy with, but we'd love to get to 800!

This year, you’ve won two more Grand Slam titles, six titles overall, and have maintained your No. 1 ranking. What has enabled the two of you to stay on top for so long?
Bob: Our loyalty to each other. We expect the best out of each other… we never let the other one slack off. We have very high standards and hate to lose. We’re still working to get better. We’re never completely satisfied with anything. We don’t really look at what we’ve done. We just look forward, trying to improve.

What is one aspect of your game that has improved the most since you two first turned professional?
Bob: Our teamwork and professionalism has continued to improve with each year on the tour. Early in our career, we'd sometimes get down on each other in tough moments and it would affect our play.  And I think our belief and confidence has grown. We feel like we when we are playing our best tennis, we are the favourites.

What do you remember about your first tour win in Atlanta 15 years ago?
Mike: We just saw one of our opponents yesterday on the grounds. Dave Randall. We beat Randall and Mark Keil. I remember the score – we won 6 and 6. I don’t think there were any breaks in the match. We were thrilled to get a win on the tour as we always dreamed of being pros. To breakthrough and win a match at that level was really special to us. It’s a match that we’re never going to forget. We felt like we arrived on the scene.

Discuss the evolution of doubles. It’s really changed a lot the past few years, with singles players entering the draws more often and teams playing solely from the baseline, hasn’t it?
Bob: I think doubles has changed for the better in the past five or 10 years. More singles players are entering with the rankings rule change, and I think that’s the way it should be. Fans want to see the stars on the court as much as possible. There’s also a great contrast in styles between doubles specialists who have great volleys and singles guys who have powerful groundstrokes. It’s a very entertaining product right now. The doubles game has gone to a lot of i-formation… we haven’t adopted that strategy, but that’s the way 80 per cent of the teams are playing right now. It’s a new challenge for us and a lot of doubles teams.

In Cincinnati, you’re three-time champions and have reached five consecutive finals. How much of a factor is the crowd, especially your fan club, “The Bryan Bunch”, who comes out in full force at the event?
Mike: We definitely feel like we have an advantage. Sometimes it feels like a Davis Cup crowd. We have a lot of support, starting with our great friends, The Bryan Bunch. We also have a lot of fun in the city. I think when you’re in familiar surroundings with people you like, in a place you enjoy, it brings out the best in your game. That’s probably why we’ve made the final here six times.

Your runner-up showing in Montreal brings your team total to 702 wins. Out of the first 700, which match is the most memorable?
Bob: Our first US Open final win was probably the best match we ever played against Bjorkman and Mirnyi. We won in under an hour and were trying to stop the ‘Anti-Slam’ from occurring in 2005.

Mike: No. 700, that’s the most memorable.

If you could have 700 of something other than your doubles wins together, what would it be?
Bob: 700 gold bricks in my living room, haha.

Mike: 700 million dollar bills

Until now, what is one thing about yourself that your twin doesn’t know?
Mike: He doesn’t know what type of toothpaste I use.

Bob: He doesn’t know the password to my bank account anymore. He can’t just go in and wire out money like he used to!

He’s also never been to my place in Miami. He hasn’t seen where I live, or the building that I live in. He’s coming down after this tournament to check it out. He’s also going to come to the hospital when Michelle and I do the ultrasound to find out if it’s a boy or a girl.

Just how alike are the twins? We took their common favourites and tennis preferences, asking each independently to name their top choice.

Bob:
Dave Matthews Band Or John Mayer?
DMB
Scrabble Or Risk? Although I feel I’m a better Scrabble player, it all started with Risk.
Dodgers or Yankees? Dodgers
History Or Music Theory? Wow, that’s tough as I love both. But I’m a history buff.
Camarillo Or Palo Alto? We spent two wonderful years at Stanford in Palo Alto, but Camarillo will always be home.
Ashe Stadium Or Centre Court? Ashe… the place rocks!
First Grand Slam Title Or Olympic Medal? First Grand Slam Title
Regular Scoring Or Match Tie-break? Regular Scoring
Forehand Volley Or Backhand Volley? Forehand Volley
Playing Against Rafa Or Novak? Although I’d have more fun playing against Novak, because he’s our boy, there’s nothing like facing the Nadal forehand.

Mike:
Dave Matthews Band Or John Mayer?
DMB
Scrabble Or Risk? Risk
Dodgers or Yankees? Dodgers
History Or Music Theory? Music Theory
Camarillo Or Palo Alto? Camarillo
Ashe Stadium Or Centre Court? Ashe
First Grand Slam Title Or Olympic Medal? First Grand Slam Title
Regular Scoring Or Match Tie-break? Regular Scoring
Forehand Volley Or Backhand Volley? Backhand Volley
Playing Against Rafa Or Novak? Rafa

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