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March 15, 2014

Bob Bryan

Mike Bryan


6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  A lot of years of struggles here.  Now winning back to back.  Talk about that feeling?
MIKE BRYAN:  I guess we proved that it wasn't a fluke last year.  Yeah, it's weird.  We couldn't get the title for 15 years, and knocked down the door two years in a row.  Haven't lost here in three years because got sick a couple years ago.
So Indian Wells has been good to us recently.  Just kind of really focused in on playing well here.
You know, tried to really peak for this one.  This feels like it's the most important Masters for us being kind of a hometown tournament.
I don't know if we have had a point to prove or what, but we just played really well all week.  Feels really good to get a title.

Q.  All the top players ‑ Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, plus other strong singles players ‑ a lot of talk about doubles specialists not really being up to speed.
BOB BRYAN:  Was there a lot of talk or just one mouth (smiling)?

Q.  And fill in the blank.

BOB BRYAN:  I think it's just one person's talk, but unfortunately he's got a pretty big platform to speak off of it.  So, yeah, those comments are still swirling around.
It's nice to see the doubles players playing well.  It's nice to see the health of doubles.  The atmosphere and the crowds were off the charts this week.  You know, playing packed houses over on Court 2 and, you know, these blockbuster matchups between, you know, seasoned doubles specialists with sharp volleys versus the ball striking of the singles players I think has really taken well with the fans.
Feels like here in Indian Wells they really are appreciating it.  It made us feel good.

Q.  You guys really helped early in your career by Davis Cup play, and then Agassi early in your pro career helped you.  There have been a lot of kids here this week I think with the Team Bryan shirts, and at SanDiego, too.  What's that mean to you?  Does that encourage you actually on court?  Just talk about that.
BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, when you see those little kids dressed head to toe in tennis clothes, you know, it kind of takes you back 25 years when we were here for the first time watching the likes of Andre Agassi.
You know, wide‑eyed when we fell in love with the game was here in Indian Wells.
So, yeah, we try to sign every autograph, try to make an impression on every kid we come in contact with.  Hopefully they leave saying, Wow, we met the Bryan brothers, you know.  Maybe they become doubles players or maybe they just, you know, make their high school team.
But if we're doing anything to put racquets in kids' hands, we feel good about that.

Q.  So that's the future, is that what you're saying?
BOB BRYAN:  Yeah, I mean, that is one of the big reasons why we're on the tour is, you know, to help inspire the next generation.
You know, our dad instilled that in us, and we're, you know, working hard with our foundation.  Even when we retire we will have more time to do, you know, big things with kids.

Q.  On the topic of Mack, have you approached and spoken to him about it?  And two, when you got to play him and Pat in New York at the BNP Paribas Showdown, was there extra motivation there?
MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, we have spoken to him a few times about it.  He's got his point, and, you know, we have our opinion.  You know, he's pretty firm with his opinion (smiling).
You know, it was fun playing at Madison Square Garden and the McEnroe brothers, two guys, people we looked up to.  Playing in the big house like that was fun.  We played well.  Jumped out to a big lead.
Yeah, that's all I have to say about that, basically (smiling).
BOB BRYAN:  I mean, doubles has really evolved over the last 30 years.  I mean, the '80s it was primarily crosscourt returning.  Not a lot of poaching.
Serve and volley tennis, there was serve and volley tennis in singles, and you basically took your singles game into the doubles and it flowed right in and you didn't have to change strategies.
The '90s with the Woodies you saw more poaching and a little more I‑formation, and now you have this big serving, big returning guys on top of the net and all sorts of strategy.
So it's just evolved.  You know, I think Mack probably doesn't understand the way it's played now and doesn't appreciate it like we do, but it's just evolved.
Maybe that's why some of his comments came out like that.

Q.  You guys have worked really hard to promote doubles in the States.  So what are your feelings on the NCAA's attempts to try to make college tennis more TV friendly and trying to also minimize the doubles by doing so, especially with like the experimental formats they have been trying?
MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, we are not fans of shortening the college matches.  You know, the doubles, I think they are only playing to 5.  It was experimental.  I don't think it took, which is good.  You know, TV does help the game.  It can make college tennis bigger.
But there's probably other ways you can go about it.  We would like to have doubles have bigger emphasis and matter more in college tennis.  So eight game pro set is what we played back in the day, and I think they should keep the format the way it is.

Q.  Have you had a chance to talk with the coaches about any of these changes that they have talked about with the doubles game on the college level?
BOB BRYAN:  I haven't talked to any coaches.  I talked to some of the players.  They don't really like that.
I mean, college coaches recruit based on singles and doubles performances in juniors, and, you know, I think doubles should, you know, really be a high priority for these kids and for these coaches.
And when you just kind of minimize these matches, it's not good for them, I don't think.

Q.  Guys, in Melbourne there was talk that, hey, there should be a fifth Grand Slam; it should be in Asia.  Just before here, before Indian Wells, Tiriac said, Yeah, all you really need is a billionaire.  With that sort of stirring going on, this tournament is so great on all fronts, stadiums, upgrades, beauty, setting, attendance, all that and more.  I know the sport is stuck in tradition and so forth, but do you think there should be kind of a move to make this a fifth slam?
BOB BRYAN:  I mean, there has been four slams for how many years?  140 years?  Those are the pillars of our sport.  These matches Masters 1000s are jewels in themselves.  They are being upgraded every year and the prize money is getting more, better.  The tennis is getting better and the attendance is getting better.
I don't think there is any reason to slide one of these over to Grand Slam level.  They are very prestigious events.  As you see out there on the court, players are trying their butts off to win them.  There is no tanking going on in a Masters Series.
So, you know, these are very important tournaments to the player.  I don't see a reason why you need to slide one over.

Q.  I will take that as a no.
BOB BRYAN:  Yeah.  Well, let's make it a Grand Slam right now.  Now we have an extra major.  Two.  (Smiling).

Q.  In tonight's match, you guys were in the ninth game of the first set and you guys were trailing Love‑30.  You were able to rally and get that and the next one.  Was that a big game for you guys?
MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, we were up an early break.  They broke back.  Kind of hanging there in the ninth game.  The momentum could have easily shifted in their favor.  They get another break.  They get the first set and they could have run away with it.
But I think Bob was serving that game.  You know, we were playing kind of unconventional Bryan brothers, playing a lot of I‑formation, throwing different looks at them.  I think that helped us get across the finish line.  They are great returners.  Peya has been really hot lately.
That game was big.  Couple points here and there, but it was hotly contested.  They are a clear‑cut No. 2 team in the world.  Every time we play them it's a battle.
Luckily we have, you know, come out on top quite a few times.

Q.  Were you more surprised or relieved that you didn't have to go into a championship tiebreak?
MIKE BRYAN:  More relieved.
BOB BRYAN:  It's always a relief to stay out of that super‑tiebreaker.  You know, even though we have been No. 1 in the world over, you know, all these years, we are still a 500 team in those breakers.
For us, it's a coin flip.  So you want to stay out of them as much as you can.
BOB BRYAN:  We are always telling each other, 15 more minutes.  Let's sprint to the finish line.  Let's don't let up.  Keep your foot on the gas.  We are always pushing each other for the intensity so we don't have to go into a tiebreaker.

Q.  Relief?
BOB BRYAN:  Relief.
MIKE BRYAN:  Yeah, yeah, you have to finish these things off in two (smiling).

Q.  You guys have achieved pretty much everything there is to win in tennis, but as far as the Masters level events are concerned, there is still the Golden Masters.  Is that something that would be an aim to have your name at least once on every one of the Masters 1000s?
BOB BRYAN:  We have actually‑‑ in our mind we have won all the nine Masters Series.  If a city moves or a tournament moves to a different city, we can't just keep winning every city (smiling).  We have won the nine Masters Series.  I know Shanghai has been moved, but that used to be Madrid.  We won that two or three times.
I know Hamburg was moved now to Madrid or whatever.  Whatever.  We have won them all (smiling).  Go talk to Sharko.
MIKE BRYAN:  You can actually go look in Shanghai's past champions book.  We are actually in the book.

Q.  Are you?  I wrote it.
MIKE BRYAN:  How many years does it go back?

Q.  Five.
MIKE BRYAN:  Okay, so...

Q.  As far as Masters.  I'm not talking about ‑‑
BOB BRYAN:  Did Hamburg count or was that...
MIKE BRYAN:  That got evaporated and disappeared.
BOB BRYAN:  Once Hamburg moves to a different city, does all the history of the tournament...
MIKE BRYAN:  If they move Indian Wells to Rancho Cucamonga.  (Laughing.)

Q.  Richard Williams wanted to move the US Open to Compton, but that didn't happen.  You had a goal a couple years ago to win the Olympics, and last year with the win, the Bryan Slam, golden slam.  What's firing you up this year?  What is your goal?  Do you want to equal the number of titles last year, 11?
BOB BRYAN:  We are looking at that triple digit mark.  That's a nice, round number, and we would love to chase that down in the near future.
Hopefully we get there this year.  If we do, that means we have had a pretty good year.

Q.  Where are you at now?
BOB BRYAN:  95.  We always have our sights on No. 1.  We started a year ago slow.  We usually come back from Australia with some sort of hardware, and this year we came back empty handed.  So we're trying to play catchup.
I felt like in Delray we started playing good tennis.  As long as we are playing at this level, I think we will be holding up some trophies.

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