Bob Bryan: Mike said I broke his sternum


Originally published on: 07/11/10 11:56

We caught up with doubles world No.1, nine-time doubles Grand Slam champion Bob Bryan, one half of the most famous twins in sport, as he and Mike clinch a record sixth yea-end No.1 ranking together on their way to the Swiss Indoors final in Basel.

First things first – congratulations on another amazing season and wrapping up the year-end No.1 this week.

Thank you.

All up, it’s been quite a season even by your standards – two Grand Slam titles, ten out of ten final victories including four Masters crowns, and of course breaking Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde’s record of 61 partnership titles in the summer. When did that marker pop up on your radar?

It came into mind in the last couple of years. Early in our career we were just laughing at the record, it was so far off, just thinking if we could get 20 titles we’d be ecstatic and that would be a great career.

But then, I don’t know, we stayed healthy, and they started tallying up and it just arrived in a whirlwind! I never would have though we would have got it so quick. We won eleven finals in a row, so the monkey never got a chance to get too big – we did it before we even knew it.

Winning it in L.A. was a real thrill – even though we didn’t break the record at a slam, winning it in our home-town was awesome.

You’ve been at the top of the game for so long now, but at 32 you’re still spring chickens compared to some of the other guys up there with you. Do you think about when the time will be right to call it a day?

We talk about that all the time. I mean, we’ve been on the tour for 12 years now – it goes quick man! We’re never stopping – when we do have days off there’s exhibitions or charity events.

But we love it and still have a lot of goals. We obviously want to beat the Woodies’ record of eleven slams, which would be great, and our K Swiss contracts run for another three years, so we’re definitely going to try and play that out. That’ll take us to 35 and to the next Olympics, and then we’ll see how we feel.

Right now, while it’s fun and we’re winning and still feel like we can win the big ones, we’ll keep going. Guys are getting a whole lot older on the doubles tour! Nestor’s 38, Knowles is 39, and everyone’s playing pretty tough.

Not long now until the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, your eighth year-end championships. How does it feel to be coming back as defending champs?

We’re definitely looking forward to coming back. Everyone was amazed at how wonderful that event was, it was like a concert atmosphere. And when you’re happy to be somewhere, you play well. I think that showed in Houston, and maybe kind of hurt us a bit in Shanghai – maybe travelling straight from Paris to Asia for one week was never top of our list of things to do.

But just taking the tunnel over to London at The O2 arena now is great. Everyone’s been to concerts there, and it’s really a fun thing to do for the players.

You’ll arrive in London with the year-end world No.1 spot all tied up this year, but it was a little different this time last year…

Yeah, finishing No.1 last year was kind of a miracle for us! We were a thousand points behind Nestor and Zimonjic coming into the World Tour Finals – we had to win a couple of matches without losing a set, they have to lose every match, and it was just a lucky, storybook kind of ending to the year for us.

It’s been a good year for the chest bump, too – but has it ever gone wrong?

It’s gone wrong a couple of times. I mean, being twins we get it right most of the time – I can see the twinkle in Mike’s eye, so I know when it’s gonna happen.

We’re doing photo shoots all the time and they’re asking for 30 to 50 chest bumps on each photo shoot, so we’ve got it down. I’ve seen other teams try it, and they always look off!

But one time earlier in our career we did it and Mike kind of grabbed me, and we didn’t bounce off, and I came down on his foot and turned my ankle.

And then another time I hit Mike a little hard and he said I broke his sternum – I don’t know if that’s right, but it was definitely a little sore!

Yikes. Well, all the best for the next couple of weeks, and we look forward to seeing you in London.

Cheers, appreciate it.


Record-breaking American duo Bob and Mike Bryan play with the Prince EXO3 Ignite Team. For more on Prince’s racket range, visit


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.