Bob and Mike Bryan, Jan. 22, 2010
We had a pretty tough match against Scott Lipsky and Rik De Voest today but pulled it out in three sets after dropping the first. It was pretty tricky, and neither team had opportunities on each other's serve. But we got better and better, and at the end we started to take more chances.
Lipsky hits a great ball, hits cannons and has pretty good hands. He's going to be around for awhile. He excelled at Stanford and has a live arm.
We had a quick off-season. We went right from the ATP World Finals in London to playing exhibitions, all the way until Dec. 17. We played 11 exos in 14 days, then went into a coma until New Year's. We just woke up a couple of days ago.
We learned our lesson. We went into Auckland a little frazzled, a little burned out. We keep thinking exos are easy with no pressure, but they are not. It's pretty much all day with the activities and sponsor visits and then the night matches. We sign the deals before we are tapped at the end of the year, and then when it gets to that time it's, “Oh no!” At our age we have to scale our schedule back a bit. But we don't leave a dime on the table.
It's tough, but then one of our friends will call us for a pure charity event, and we have to help our buddies out. Plus, we have our own foundation, and we want to build up some favors.
We did five nights in a row, and we were driving in the mornings, and you don't get much sleep. We went from New York, to Birmingham, to Chattanooga, to Atlanta, to Nashville, to Richmond, to Baltimore, to Tampa and then to Vegas. But John Isner was playing singles and then having to play us in doubles, so we had it easy.
This year, one of our goals is to tie the “Woodies” record of all-time doubles titles. We have 56 and are just five away. But that's a lot of Sundays. We'd love to win another title here in Australia and get the year off to a great start. We'd love to finish No. 1 again and win another Wimby. We've lost three finals there and want to get over the hump. We'd also like to double up at the French.
But we don't want the No. 1 ranking to go down to the last match of the year, like it did the last two years. Last year In London, we had to beat Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram to secure the ranking in the final. But that was huge. It was great drama.
A crew from "60 Minutes" flew out to film that week, and it was going to be more of a sob story, but it turned out the other way. They had four crews there, and we did a two-hour sit-down with Lesley Stahl. The "60 Minutes" crew was also at the US Open.
We don't know what they are going to use on the show, but they went at every angle, from how our dad raised us, to us being twins, to the doubles, and then they tried to go the Agassi route, but we deflected that. We have no clue which way they are going with it.
We have a new album out, “The Bryan Bros. Band Featuring David Baron,” and we are going to distribute some of them in pro shops. We did a litmus test, and we left 40 CDs at a pro shop in Richmond, and they sold in seven days. They aren't going to see well at Barnes & Noble!
Isner is playing great. He's serving out of a tree, he's hitting his backhand better and his forehand great. He's also fitter, and his coach, Craig Boynton, has been really good for him. Andy Murray is going to be a tough match up for John because he makes a lot of returns, but we see him making a run at the top 15 in the next month.
Andy Roddick seems pretty dialed in, too. He's refreshed from his time off. It seems like everything's working. He's got a good record against Fernando Gonzalez, and he's on Nadal's side. I think Roddick's coach, Larry Stefanki, who used to coach Gonzalez, has Gonzo pretty well figured out.
It will be interesting to have new singles players on the Davis Cup team. Isner will step up and serve some cannons, and maybe Sam Querrey or Mardy Fish will come to Serbia, too. Maybe Captain Pat McEnroe will take all three and see what happens. We are sticking with it. We love Davis Cup. If we can sneak one win on the first day, we like our chances, but it's going to be tough because they are going to be eating us alive over there.
Wish us luck here. We have to take it up a notch and start playing