On telling the
world's top-ranked doubles players apart
Mike: It's tough on
the court because we're dressed alike and we have hats on or shades. From a
distance you can't tell. But Bob is a lefty; I am a righty. Bob: Look for the
Bob beads. I've been wearing this necklace since I was 10. We're also starting
to look different. I'm a little thicker. I have 15, 20 pounds on him. I'm also
a little taller, and my hair is longer.
On twin pranks
Mike: We've pulled
a lot on the phone. I mean, my parents can't even tell us apart on the phone.
Sometimes my girlfriend will call me, and Bob will pick up and talk to her and
she'll have no clue it was Bob until maybe a week later. Bob: Yeah, she'll say,
"I love you" and I'll say, "I love you" and she'll just keep it
going and have no clue.
On doubles versus
Mike: In doubles
the points are quicker. There's more serving and volleying everywhere and more
angled shots. There are hand signals. Communication with your partner is one
reason we're successful. Bob: There's more strategy in doubles. It takes many
years to master, to get used to someone else's timing on the court. A lot of
times you see the best doubles players are in their 30s. [The twins are 28.] It
has taken that long to acclimate themselves to the game.
On the Bryan
Mike: My dad [a
tennis coach and motivational speaker] played in a band in high school, and he
taught Bob to play keyboard and me to play drums when we were, like, three. We
had a family band and we played oldies like My Girl. We did talent shows and
Christmas parties. Now we bring our instruments on the road and practice in our
hotel. Bob: We're going to play a gig at the U.S. Open. We have a couple guys
from Camarillo [ Calif., where they grew up] who sing. They're in my dad's band,
and they come and join us. Eventually Mike and I will take voice lessons. That
is the only way to really make it in the music industry.
On growing up with
no TV or video games in the house
Mike: It helped us
because it gave us more time to work on our studies [they both went to
Stanford] and practice. Now we're thankful. A lot of kids waste time playing
video games, and they're just time drainers. Actually we had a small TV that we
would hook up for Wimbledon and watch. Bob: Now we have a TV. When we got on
the tour [in 1998], we watched TV nonstop to catch up and see what we