February 19, 2018
WRITTEN BY SAMUEL THORNHILL
With 115 tournament titles, 16 Grand Slams Doubles titles, and 2 Olympic medals (1 gold, 1 bronze), SoCal natives Bob and Mike Bryan are undisputedly the most successful tennis duo of all time. As if their on-court exploits weren’t enough on their own, the fact that they’re twins makes all that they’ve accomplished even more remarkable. Their good works extend far beyond the tennis court as well as the brothers are recognized for their generous charity work through their non-profit organization, the Bryan Bros. Foundation, which aims to support at-risk youth. The brothers are slated to play at this year’s BNP Paribas Open, and so we wanted to give you a glimpse into the minds of this dynamic duo.
The level of success the Bryan Brothers’ have achieved over the course of their career is due in no small part to their fierce competitive streak. However, their competitiveness isn’t just reserved for their opponents. On who would win between the two, Bob gives his rather diplomatic assessment. “Depends on who you ask. We are both fiercely competitive and play sets against each other all the time.” Mike thought was a bit more forthcoming. “2017 was Bob’s year. But, in 2018 there is a new sheriff in town.” Even though there may be some discrepancy when it comes to their head to head matches, the vote is unanimous when it comes to who their partner would be, if it weren’t each other. “John Isner definitely. That way we would never have to play the ball back against him ever again.”
After 20 years on the pro tour, the Bryan Brothers have had some tremendous successes on the court. When asking them to reflect on their illustrious career, the duo recalled the moments that were particularly meaningful. “The Olympic Games were spectacular! Standing on that podium with the National Anthem playing was a surreal moment. Also, the 2007 Davis Cup win will always mean a lot to us. The US fans were amazing and being able to share that win with our teammates, James Blake and Andy Roddick were very special.” Let the brothers tell it, their pre-match rituals also played a role in their success as well. Says Bob, “We’re both just a tad superstitious. During tournaments, we eat the same meals at the same restaurants, use the same showers in the locker room, and play the same songs all week long. Upbeat, up-tempo music, sometimes we like to mix in a little rap, like Jay Z, Tupac, Biggie is always good. Mike adds, “We even have preferences on where we sit during the matches. I always sit on the far side of the umpire while Bob sits closer to the umpire. “
In addition to their foundation, off the court, the Bryans have many interests, but their love for music is paramount. “If we weren’t tennis players we would 100%, be rock star musicians. Next to tennis, our passion is music. Our good friends, James Valentine and Jim Bogios live the best life. They perform great music, never lose a match, and always walk off the stage with a smile on their face.”
Running a close second to their love of music is their passion for food. As you can imagine the Bryans have had some amazing dining experiences during their years globetrotting all over the world while on tour. When talking about their favorites they waste no time. “Nobu at Indian Wells. The food is fresh, delicious AND you can watch great tennis while eating. Our other go-to is L’Entrecote in Paris, France. We eat there every night during the French Open and never get tired of it. So simple but so delicious: steak, fries and their sauce is to die for.” When it comes to local SoCal cuisine, Bob goes simple, “In & Out, all the way! I always order, a Double Double and French Fries. Animal Style, of course! Also, this hole in the wall Mexican food spot in Camarillo, CA. Hands down the best wet chili verde burrito ever.” Now if Mike had it his way, he’d load up on gluten. “I’ve been gluten-free for 15 years now. I would eat all the pasta, and all the pizza I could get my hands on.” One more thing they agree on, “The margaritas from Adobe Grill in La Quinta!” They are twins after all.