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Original Issue

Bob & Mike Bryan

Identical Twin Doubles Champs

On telling theworld's top-ranked doubles players apart

Mike: It's tough onthe court because we're dressed alike and we have hats on or shades. From adistance you can't tell. But Bob is a lefty; I am a righty. Bob: Look for theBob beads. I've been wearing this necklace since I was 10. We're also startingto look different. I'm a little thicker. I have 15, 20 pounds on him. I'm alsoa little taller, and my hair is longer.

On twin pranks

Mike: We've pulleda 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 andshe'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 itgoing and have no clue.

On doubles versussingles

Mike: In doublesthe points are quicker. There's more serving and volleying everywhere and moreangled shots. There are hand signals. Communication with your partner is onereason we're successful. Bob: There's more strategy in doubles. It takes manyyears to master, to get used to someone else's timing on the court. A lot oftimes you see the best doubles players are in their 30s. [The twins are 28.] Ithas taken that long to acclimate themselves to the game.

On the BryanBrothers Band

Mike: My dad [atennis coach and motivational speaker] played in a band in high school, and hetaught Bob to play keyboard and me to play drums when we were, like, three. Wehad a family band and we played oldies like My Girl. We did talent shows andChristmas parties. Now we bring our instruments on the road and practice in ourhotel. Bob: We're going to play a gig at the U.S. Open. We have a couple guysfrom 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. Thatis the only way to really make it in the music industry.

On growing up withno TV or video games in the house

Mike: It helped usbecause it gave us more time to work on our studies [they both went toStanford] and practice. Now we're thankful. A lot of kids waste time playingvideo games, and they're just time drainers. Actually we had a small TV that wewould hook up for Wimbledon and watch. Bob: Now we have a TV. When we got onthe tour [in 1998], we watched TV nonstop to catch up and see what wemissed.

On their signaturechest bump

Mike: We got itfrom the Jensen brothers [Luke and Murphy], who were crazy and loved gettingfans involved. We kind of idolized them. At Stanford the fraternity guys wouldcome watch us. We'd get amped and do the chest bump. It just carried on.




Photograph by Jennifer Pottheiser