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April 12, 2008

Bob Bryan

Mike Bryan

Patrick McEnroe


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Bob, Mike or Patrick.

Q. Things looked pretty good after the first set. What happened?
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, I mean, it's unfortunate we didn't get into a second-set breaker. You know, we won the big points in the first set. You know, it was pretty bad lucky, got broken there because I liked, you know, our chances in the second-set breaker. We were winning. Felt like we were going to pull off some magic in the second-set breaker. Get up two sets to love, and then hopefully roll them on out.
They came up with some good shots. Came out, hit a couple backhands up the line. I think a couple lobs got over our head. You know, all of a sudden we're one set all. I think we lost a little energy there.
I mean, you know, our strength is to play with energy, and we kind of got frustrated, which I think we got down, we weren't breaking a lot. We weren't having a lot of chances, and our energy dipped, which is, you know, not good when it's so important to hold serve on a fast court.

Q. Mike, Bob, it has been a long, long time since you lost a Davis Cup match. Is it a law of averages or was it really your opponents were that good today?
BOB BRYAN: I mean, we played a really good team. You know, I don't think we played a team that's won a Grand Slam. So, I mean, it's a really good team on, you know, a court that you got to take advantage of your opportunities. We knew coming in that it was going to be very tough to break serve. We were going to have to be patient. You know, the first set went according to plan. A tiebreaker is what we thought we were going to play. We thought we were going to play some breakers out there, get some magic. Like Mike said, that 6-5 game was pretty pivotal in the second.
We've had a good run and we expect to bounce back from this one. I think Andy and James, they're feeling good, and they're going to get it done for us tomorrow and save us.

Q. Llodra has the left-handed and the big serve and everything. Is Arnaud kind of deceptive? He seems to have a little bit more game than most people would anticipate.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah. You know, he's obviously the best returner on the team. He gets down low and, you know, he can do anything with the backhand. He just went for it today and made a few.
He served, you know, really good. I mean, he went for his second serve on some key points. I think one of the biggest points of the match we were almost gonna break back there and he went for a second-serve ace up the T and got Bob. He misses that by an inch, we're back in the match. You know, I like our chances.
But, yeah, he's a great player. And on a fast court when you can't expose his weaknesses, you know, sometimes we like to pick on him at net. But it was kind of tough. He bunked a few and they go deep, they're skidding. It's tough, so...
Yeah, I mean, he's a great player. He's a Wimbledon champion. He's good.

Q. Would you speak to the overall quality of this match, all three of you, in terms of Davis Cup matches. To us in the stands, it seemed like fantastically high quality, and the speed was almost unbelievable.
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, I think it was high quality. You know, it was just a lot of big serving, good reflexes out there, just quick points.
You know, as I said before, our energy dipped. We kind of got frustrated. We weren't breaking. We weren't having a lot of sniffs. But we came in not expecting to break a lot.
So, you know, they took their chances. We had a few breakpoints and didn't take them. So, I don't know. I don't know what we could have done different. You know, we got in a lull at about 1 hour and 20 in and got broken twice, twice in a row, so that was the key to the match.

Q. Mike and Bob, how does this loss emotionally compare to Wimbledon?
BOB BRYAN: I consider it the same, you know. We're still a little kind of dazed. It really hasn't kind of sunk in. It probably would have been tougher at 1-All. You know, James pulled out some remarkable stuff yesterday to give us a 2-0 lead.
You know, hopefully they can go out there tomorrow, kind of erase this defeat. Maybe we can forget about it and try to put it behind us pretty quickly with a win. You know, as long as the team gets three points, we leave here, you know, happy. We're not jumping for joy, but we'll be happy.

Q. Patrick, if you can discuss tomorrow a little bit. Obviously things have changed. Are you expecting them to keep the same lineup or maybe put in Gasquet?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I think there's a chance they could put in Gasquet. I think Mathieu played great yesterday. Certainly from the way he played, probably deserves another chance. I think it really depends on how Gasquet is feeling, if they think he's a hundred percent physically. Also obviously for him to adjust to the surface, that's a part of it, too. I think Mathieu did a really good job of that.
We're not really too concerned, to be honest. If Andy comes out and plays well, plays his game, I think we're in pretty good shape.
But, you know, we'll obviously think about it. The boys just went out to hit, so we're already talking about it. You know, an hour before the match, we'll know. So that will give us that time to sort of set the game plan, go out there and hopefully close it out.

Q. You guys had almost like a lock to get a point in each Davis Cup tie. Was it disappointing not to pull through today?
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, I mean, it obviously hurts a lot. You know, those guys stepped up for us yesterday, got a 2-Love lead. You know, we wanted to shut it down so we could have a good time tonight.
CAPTAIN McENROE: We'll still have a good time tonight. These guys are human. They're human. We count on them. Like everybody always says, the doubles is a lock. They played a great team. They played well. You know, they had chances, as Mike said.
I mean, you got to give the French credit. They played unbelievable tennis on the big points. You know, it wasn't like the guys choked or missed some easy shots. I mean, they played some good shots.
I mean, 14-2, I'll take that. That's still a pretty darn good record. Hopefully we can move on and they'll start another streak.

Q. Did you feel you could have returned better?
MIKE BRYAN: Yeah. I mean, I don't know what they served, but I think it was in the 70s. You know, Llodra is gonna be a tough break when he's making first serves. We could have made a few more when we had looks. But, you know, that's the way it goes. We were just trying to go for 'em. You know, whenever we had a look, just let it fly. They weren't flying.
CAPTAIN McENROE: One of the things that's tricky about this court is it makes the doubles a little bit tougher for these guys. I mean, that's the truth. I tell them that a lot, that their best surface is a slower court. You know, even a hard court that's a little bit slower. They sort of understand. If I were tailoring a court for them, it wouldn't be this fast.

Q. Why is that?
CAPTAIN McENROE: It just enables them to make more returns and sort of expose a weaker player on the other team, to get in more return games. On this kind of court, it's about a few big points. It kind of makes it a little bit more of a crapshoot.
Then you combine that with the fact they're playing a great team, they're playing a team that obviously has won Wimbledon and can play well. Clement reached the finals of the Australian Open in singles in his career. So he's a darn good player.
But, you know, it makes the doubles a little trickier.

Q. I want to ask you about the habit of winning. You're habitual winners. You rarely had to play from behind in Davis Cup, if ever. Was that a jolt? Was that emotionally hard to deal with in that moment?
BOB BRYAN: It's not easy playing from behind. But I thought, you know, we came together. Pat was great. He gave us great advice. You know, we were taking our time. We were trying to claw back into the match. I thought we stayed pretty positive. Our energy dropped a little bit at that 6-5 game for the 10 minutes, which cost us.
But, you know, we still thought we could come back and win. We felt that way the whole way through. So we didn't get it done, but we still felt like we could have.

Q. The term "lock" and your obvious outstanding record in Davis Cup, do you feel there's some kind of artificial pressure on you because when you compete in Davis Cup you're very often not competing against natural doubles teams because many of the best doubles teams are from different countries and you just won't face them?
BOB BRYAN: I don't think there's any extra pressure. We put a lot of pressure on each other and ourselves to play well every match. We come in here at the beginning of the week with one mission: to get it done on Saturday. We have great practices. We lift weights. We get a lot of sleep. We eat right. We do all the right things to leave it on the line today.
We came up a little short today. You know, if we can get through, I'm looking forward to making the next match, wherever it is.

Q. They played tremendously. No doubt about it. Do you feel they adapted to the court better than our guys?
CAPTAIN McENROE: I think they adapted well. I think it helped Clement's serve. He could place his serve. On a slower court, that's a little tougher for him to do. So I think in some ways they did. I think they made a lot of returns. They played great. I mean, go back to we had chances to break in the third to get back on serve. We had 3-All, 15-40. Clement hits a second serve, basically first serve, up the middle. You just have to say, Wow.
Looking back now, you say, I guess it was just their day. For stuff like that to go off, I mean, he misses that, all of a sudden we're up a break, we're playing a fifth set right now.
But, no, I mean they deserved the win. They played a great match. You know, they did everything well. So I give them all the credit in the world. But it wasn't like I thought that our guys didn't play well. They came to play and they played hard. We were a swing away from turning it back around.

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