Davis Cup Preview

WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS

Spain (s) v USA (s) Parque Hermanos Castro, Gijon (clay – outdoors)

Argentina (s) v Czech Republic (s) Parque Roca, Buenos Aires (clay – outdoors)
(s) = seed

BACK-TO-BACK FINALS…
Both Argentina and Spain are looking to reach back-to-back finals. If both teams win this weekend, it will be the first time since 1989 that the same two nations have contested back-to-back finals. Sweden and West Germany reached the Final in both 1988 and 1989.

RETAINING THE TITLE…
Since the formation of the World Group in 1981, there have been 5 successful title defences by 4 different nations. Reigning champions Spain were the last nation to successfully defend their title in 2009. The successful title defences in World Group history are: USA 1981-82; Sweden 1984-85; West Germany 1988-89; Sweden 1997-98; and Spain 2008-09.

SPAIN LOOK TO PRESERVE WINNING STREAK…
Spain hold the record for the longest run of wins at home in Davis Cup World Group history. The Spanish have won their last 23 home ties. The last team to defeat Spain at home was Brazil in the 1999 World Group first round. Gustavo Kuerten was the hero of that tie winning all of Brazil’s points as the visitors won 3-2. Italy hold the all-time record with 28 wins at home from 1949 through 1964.

ALL FOUR SEEDS…
For the second consecutive year all 4 semifinalist nations are seeded and it might be good news for Argentina. Four seeds progressed to the semifinals in 2006, 2008 and 2011, with Argentina making it through to the final on all those occasions.

WORLD GROUP PLAY-OFFS

(s) Kazakhstan v Uzbekistan National Tennis Centre, Astana (clay – indoors)

(s) Germany v Australia Rothenbaum Stadium, Hamburg (clay – outdoors)

Japan v Israel (s) Ariake Coliseum, Tokyo (hard – outdoors)

Belgium v Sweden (s) Royal Primerose Tennis Club, Brussels (clay – outdoors)

(s) Canada v South Africa Uniprix Stadium Montreal (hard – outdoors)

Brazil v Russia (s) Harmonia Tenis Clube, Sao Jose do Rio Preto (clay – outdoors)

(s) Italy v Chile Tennis Club Napoli, Naples (clay – outdoors)

Netherlands v Switzerland (s) Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam (clay – outdoors)
(s) = seed

• Uzbekistan are looking to qualify for the World Group for the first time. They face local rivals Kazakhstan, who are bidding to maintain their position in the top tier for the third successive year.

• There is a battle of 2 Davis Cup former champions in Hamburg as 3-time winners Germany take on 28-time champion Australia. The Germans have been in the World Group every year since 2006, while the Australians have been in Zone Group competition for the last 5 years.

• Japan, who fought their way back into the World Group for the first time in 26 years by defeating India at the same stage of the competition last year, are aiming to maintain their place among the Davis Cup elite. They play Israel, who defeated Portugal in Europe/Africa Zone Group I in April to book their place in this year’s play-offs.

• Sweden jointly hold the record for most World Group appearances (31) with Czech Republic and USA. That record is at risk as they take on Belgium in Brussels this weekend.

• South Africa, who have lost their last 5 World Group play-off matches, have not been in the top tier since 1998. They play Canada, who returned to the World Group this year for the first time since 2004.

• Brazil and Russia face off in the World Group play-offs for a second successive year. The Russians have played in the World Group every year since 1993 and the 2002 and 2006 champions will be looking to continue that streak. Brazil are bidding to return to the World Group for the first time since 2003. They have lost at this stage of the competition for the last 6 years.

• The Italians maintained their perfect record against Chile with victory at this stage of the competition last year. Italy defeated the South American team to claim their only Davis Cup title in 1976. Chile are looking to bounce straight back to the World Group and are no strangers to the play-offs, having featured in them for 7 of the last 9 years.

• Switzerland were relegated from the World Group by Kazakhstan in 2010. They lost to USA 5-0 in the first round this year and now face the Netherlands, who are trying to gain promotion to the World Group for the first time since 2009.

CHOICE OF GROUND – WORLD GROUP FINAL

The Davis Cup Final will take place on 16-18 November. Below is the choice of ground for all potential match-ups. The venue details are due to be submitted to the ITF by the beginning of October.

Possible Final Venue
SPAIN v ARGENTINA ARG
SPAIN v CZECH REPUBLIC CZE
USA v ARGENTINA ARG
USA v CZECH REPUBLIC USA

PAST CHAMPIONS

In total, 13 nations have won the Davis Cup.

­ USA 32
­ Australia 28
­ France, Great Britain 9
­ Sweden 7
­ Spain 5
­ Germany 3
­ Russia 2
­ Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Serbia, South Africa 1

ALL FIVE TO FIVE…
Only twice have all 5 rubbers of a Davis Cup tie gone to 5 sets: 1946 European Zone semifinal, Yugoslavia defeated France 3-2 and 2003 World Group play-off, Romania defeated Ecuador 3-2.

COMEBACKS FROM 0-2 DOWN…
There have been just 7 comebacks from 0-2 down in World Group ties. Sweden has produced 4 of these comebacks including the most recent one in 1998 (Sweden d. Slovak Republic 3-2, first round). In the Davis Cup overall there have been 47 since the competition began in 1900.

TOP TIEBREAKS…
The most tiebreaks in a Davis Cup tie is 11 (Croatia d. Brazil 4-1, 2008 World Group play-off).

PARTICIPATING NATIONS…
123 nations entered the 2012 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.

DAVIS CUP NATIONS RANKING…
The ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking was launched at the end of 2001. It is published following every tie weekend and measures success over the preceding 4-year period, with recent performances weighted more heavily. It is the sole criteria for seeding at all levels of Davis Cup competition.

Latest Davis Cup Nations Ranking (9 April 2012)

1 Spain 11 Israel
2 Argentina 12 Sweden
3 Serbia 13 Canada
4 Czech Republic 14 Russia
5 France 15 Italy
6 USA 16 Switzerland
7 Croatia 17 Chile
8 Austria 18 Belgium
9 Kazakhstan 19 Japan
10 Germany 20 Australia

DAVIS CUP RECORDS^

World Group Davis Cup
Most Games in a Tie (post-tiebreak*) 275:
France d. Switzerland 3-2, 2001 Quarterfinal 281:
Romania d. Ecuador 3-2, 2003 WG Play-off
Most Games in a Tie (pre-tiebreak*) 281:
Paraguay d. France 3-2, 1985 First Round 327:
India d. Australia 3-2, 1974 Eastern Zone Final

Most Games in a Singles Rubber
(post-tiebreak*) 82:
Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Ivo Karkovic (CRO) 2009 Semifinal 82:
Richard Ashby (BAR) d. Jose Medrano (BOL) 1991 Americas II, First Round
Most Games in a Singles Rubber
(pre-tiebreak*) 85:
Michael Westphal (FRG) d. Tomas Smid (TCH) 1985 Semifinal 100:
Harry Fritz (CAN) d. Jorge Andrew (VEN)
1982 Americas Zone Semifinal
Most Games in a Doubles Rubber
(post-tiebreak*) 77:
Arnold-Ker/Nalbandian (ARG) d. Kafelnikov/Safin (RUS), 2002 Semifinal 78:
Di Laura/Noriega (PER) d. Menezes/Roese (BRA), 1991 Americas I First Round

Most Games in a Doubles Rubber
(pre-tiebreak*) 77 (twice):
Annacone/Flach (USA) d. Cash/Fitzgerald (AUS) 1986 Semifinal
Casal/Sanchez (ESP) d. Gonzalez/Pecci (PAR) 1987 Quarterfinal
122:
Smith/Van Dillen (USA) d. Cornejo/Fillol (CHI), 1973 American Zone Final

Most Games in a Set (singles)
40 (21-19):
Carlos Kirmayr (BRA) v Uli Pinner (FRG)
1981 Relegation Tie
46 (24-22 twice):
Alvaro Betancur (COL) v Dale Power (CAN) 1976 American Zone
Andrei Chesnokov (URS) v Michiel Schapers (NED), 1987 European Zone

Most Games in a Set (doubles) 40 (21-19):
Edberg/Jarryd (SWE) v Amritraj/Amritraj (IND) 1985 Quarterfinal 76 (39-37):
Cornejo/ Fillol (CHI) v Smith/Van Dillen (USA) 1973 American Zone Final

Longest Fifth Set (Singles) 17-15 (twice):
Michael Westphal (FRG) v Tomas Smid (TCH) 1985 Semifinal
Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) v Andy Roddick (USA) 2006 Semifinal 20-18 (twice):
Richard Ashby (BAR) v Jose Medrano (BOL), 1991 Americas II, First Round.
Nuno Marques (POR) v Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)
1998 Europe/Africa II, Second Round
Longest Fifth Set (Doubles) 19-17:
Arnold-Ker/Nalbandian (ARG) v Kafelnikov/Safin (RUS), 2002 Semifinal 23-21:
Fernandes/Vieira (BRA) v Avidan-Weiss /Davidman (ISR), 1957 American Zone Semifinal

Longest recorded
playing-time (tie) 21 hours, 2 minutes:
France d. Switzerland 3-2, 2001 Quarterfinal 21 hours, 37 minutes:
Romania d. Ecuador 3-2, 2003 WG Play-off
Longest singles rubber 6 hours, 22 minutes:
John McEnroe (USA) d.
Mats Wilander (SWE), 1982 Quarterfinal see World Group
Longest doubles rubber 6 hours, 20 minutes:
Arnold-Ker/Nalbandian (ARG) d. Kafelnikov/Safin (RUS), 2002 Semifinal see World Group

Fewest number of games conceded in a tie 26:
Germany d. Indonesia 5-0, 1989 First Round 6:
Sri Lanka d. Syria – 1991 Asia/Oceania II, First Round
Longest tiebreak* 15-13:
Patrick Rafter (AUS) d. David Rikl (CZE),
1997 First Round 19-17:
Young-Jun Kim (KOR) d. Aqeel Khan (PAK),
2003 Asia/Oceania Zone Group I
*the tiebreak was introduced in Davis Cup in 1989; ^for further details see 2012 Davis Cup Media Guide, General Records, p. 164-70

SPAIN v USA

Head-to-head: tied 5-5
In 10 previous meetings between these 2 former champions only twice has the away team won – most recently when Spain defeated USA in the 2011 quarterfinals in Austin, Texas. USA will be hoping to avenge that defeat and reach their first final since 2007.

SPAIN v USA

1 Current DC Nations Ranking 6
Champion 5 times Best Result Champion 32 times
1921 First year played 1900
77 Years played (incl 2012) 98
28 Years in World Group (incl 2012) 31
191 Ties played 277
121-70 Ties Win-Loss 212-65
0 Comebacks from 0-2 down 1

• Defending champion SPAIN won their 5th Davis Cup title by defeating Argentina 3-1 in last year’s final in Seville. It was their 3rd title in the last 4 years.

• Spain are looking to reach back-to-back Finals for the 3rd time in their history. They also reached back-to-back finals in 2003-04 and 2008-09.

• Spain defeated Kazakhstan 5-0 and Austria 4-1 to book their place in the semifinals for the 4th time in the last 5 years. In their last 6 semifinal appearances Spain have progressed to the Final.

• This is Spain’s 16th consecutive year in the World Group. They hold the World Group record for the longest run of wins by a nation at home. Spain’s quarterfinal win against Austria was their 23rd consecutive victory at home. Spain’s last home loss was in 1999 (l. Brazil), which was also the last time they lost a Davis Cup tie on clay. They have won 25 straight ties on the surface since that defeat.

• If Spain win this weekend they will close the gap on Italy, who have the longest run of wins at home with 28 wins at home from 1949 through 1964.

• Spain have been crowned Davis Cup champion 5 times since 2000, having never previously won the title. They lifted the trophy in 2000 (d. Australia 3-1), 2004 (d. USA 3-2), 2008 (d. Argentina 3-1), 2009 (d. Czech Republic 5-0) and 2011 (d. Argentina 3-1).

• If Spain win this weekend, they will play away in the Final to either Argentina or Czech Republic.

• Spain is currently No. 1 in the Davis Cup Nations Ranking and is one of 5 nations to rank No. 1 since the rankings were introduced in 2001 (alongside Australia, Croatia, France and Russia). Spain was ranked No. 1 between September 2004 and September 2005, and has also held the top spot since July 2009.

• USA are playing in their 278th tie – the most for any nation – in their 98th year of Davis Cup competition.

• USA jointly hold the record for most World Group appearances (31) with Czech Republic and Sweden. All 3 nations have played in the World Group every year but one since its inception in 1981. USA was absent from the World Group in 1988 and has the longest unbroken streak of World Group appearances (24).

• USA whitewashed Switzerland 5-0 and defeated France 3-2 to reach their first semifinal since 2008. That year they lost to this weekend’s opponents on clay in Spain.

• Both USA’s victories this year have come away from home and on clay. They are looking to reach their first Final since winning their 32nd Davis Cup title in 2007, defeating Russia 4-1 in Portland, Oregon.

• USA’s triumph in 2007 came 12 years after their previous title, the longest gap between USA Davis Cup successes.

• Last year, USA lost to this weekend’s opponents in a quarterfinal tie in Austin, TX. It brought to an end their 6-match winning streak on home soil.

• USA are currently ranked No. 6 in the ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking. The lowest they have been ranked is No. 8 (from April-September 2003 and again in September 2005) and the highest ranking position they have held is No. 2. The Davis Cup Nations Ranking was introduced in 2001 and is updated after each round.

• If USA win this weekend they will either play away to Argentina or at home to Czech Republic in the Final.

ARGENTINA v CZECH REPUBLIC

Head-to-head: Czech Republic lead 3-1
The 2 teams have met 3 times since the introduction of the World Group, with the home team winning on each of those 3 occasions. Czechoslovakia defeated Argentina on clay in Buenos Aires in an Inter-Zonal semifinal in 1980 that featured a dominant display by Ivan Lendl over Jose-Luis Clerc and Guillermo Vilas.

ARGENTINA v CZECH REPUBLIC

2 Current DC Nations Ranking 4
Runner-up 4 times Best Result Champion 1980
1923 First Year Played 1921
58 Years Played (inc 2012) 79
20 Years in World Group (inc 2012) 31
138 Ties Played 193
79-59 Ties Win-Loss 117-76
0 Comebacks from 0-2 down 0

• ARGENTINA are into the semifinals for the 8th time since returning to the World Group in 2002. They have reached the quarterfinals or better every year since 2002. They are looking to reach their 5th final.

• Argentina are playing their 3rd consecutive tie this year at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires. They defeated Germany 4-1 and Croatia 4-1 to reach the semifinals.

• Argentina are a 4-time runner-up in Davis Cup: in 1981 (l. USA), 2006 (l. Russia), 2008 (l. Spain) and 2011 (l. Spain). Argentina are the only nation to have lost 4 Davis Cup Finals without winning the title.

• Last year, Argentina finished runner-up, losing 3-1 to Spain in Seville.

• The doubles rubber in the World Group semifinal between Russia and Argentina in 2002, featuring Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin against Lucas Arnold-Ker and David Nalbandian, is the longest recorded men’s doubles match in Davis Cup, at 6 hours, 20 minutes.
• The last time Argentina lost a home tie on clay was against Slovak Republic in 1998. They have won 18 of their last 20 Davis Cup ties on the surface. Their only losses in that time both came against Spain, in the 2003 semifinals and in last year’s final.

• If Argentina win this weekend they are guaranteed to have a home Final against the winner of Spain v USA.
• CZECH REPUBLIC are looking to reach their second Final since the formation of the World Group in 1981. The Czechs reached the final in 2009, losing to Spain on clay in Barcelona.

• Before the nation divided into Czech Republic and Slovak Republic, Czechoslovakia won the Davis Cup in 1980, defeating Italy on carpet in Prague in the final.

• Czech Republic are making their 31st World Group appearance, the most for any nation along with Sweden and USA. They have competed in the World Group every year with the exception of 2006.

• This year Czech Republic defeated Italy 4-1 in Ostrava and Serbia 4-1 in Prague to reach the semifinals. Between them the Czech duo of Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek have combined to win all 6 live rubbers.

• Last year, the Czechs lost to Kazakhstan in the first round in Ostrava. They were 2-1 up after the doubles rubber before a stunning Kazakh comeback by Andrey Golubev and Mikhail Kukushkin. The Czechs defeated Romania 5-0 in the World Group play-offs to maintain their place in the top tier.

• If Czech Republic win this weekend, they will be at home to Spain or away to USA in November’s Final.

Federer Wins Australian Open Title with New BLX Racket

[CHICAGO] – New decade, new racket, new record. Playing with his new Wilson Six.One Tour BLX tennis racket, Roger Federer proved once again why he is the greatest tennis player of all time. Federer’s 2010 Australian Open win marks his 16th Grand Slam title, surpassing his own all-time record of 15 major titles.

Federer’s continued success is due in part to Wilson’s ever evolving technology and BLX is no exception. Federer switched to his new Six.One Tour BLX racket at the beginning of 2010. “Wilson continues to provide rackets with the most cutting edge technology and this racket really gives me the extra feel I look for,” Federer said after claiming the title. “My new BLX racket provides me with the extra edge I needed to succeed.”

The #1 player in the world stayed strong throughout the entire match in Rod Laver Arena winning 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11). Federer broke Murray’s serve twice in the opening set and once in the second. Federer rallied from 5-2 down in the third, breaking Murray when he served in attempt to push the match into a fourth set.

Federer solidified his #1 ranking for a 268th week and tied Jimmy Connors in third place on the all-time list. Since 2004, he has reached at least the semi-finals of every Grand Slam. He continued his Grand Slam streak with a 23rd consecutive semi-final appearance.

“It’s an incredible feeling to continue this streak and my success at Grand Slams,” Federer said. “This 16th title means the world to me and I hope to keep this streak alive.”

Once again, Federer has raised the bar in the game of tennis and provide another benchmark for his competitors to work harder, play better and achieve more. He is still No.1 in the world and even with competition snapping at heels everyday, the legacy continues.

Wilson Racquet Sports is a division of Chicago-based Wilson Sporting Goods, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sports equipment and owned by Amer Sports. Wilson designs, manufactures and distributes sporting goods throughout the world and focuses on making technologically advanced products which help players of all levels perform better. Wilson’s core sport categories include: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Volleyball, Soccer, Youth Sports, Uniforms/Apparel, Golf, Footwear and Racquet Sports (Tennis, Racquetball, Squash, Badminton and Platform Tennis). For more information, visit www.wilson.com.

Bryan Brothers Capture Fourth Australian Open Title

January 31, 2010 – Bordentown, NJ, – Defending champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan took home their second consecutive men’s doubles crown at the 2010 Australian Open Saturday evening and their eighth Grand Slam title overall beating rivals Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in three sets, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3.

With their EXO3 Ignite Team 95 racquets, which they switched to late last year, the 31-year old American twins are now just four titles away from reaching the all-time record, currently held by Australian greats Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde with 61.

“It feels great to come back to Melbourne and defend our title, capture another Grand Slam and take one step closer to the all-time title record,” said Bob Bryan.  “It is exactly how we hoped to kick-off 2010.”

The Bryans decided late last year to make a switch in racquets in order to achieve more control while still getting the ‘pop’ they need on serves and ground strokes.  Their decision, after hitting only a few balls, was to pick up EXO3 technology and come down a bit in head size with the  EXO3 Ignite Team 95.

“It is crucial in doubles to keep return of serves low and we feel as though we have better ability to do that with the  EXO3 Ignite Team.  But while it gives us added control and maneuverability, we are still able to deliver the power and pace we need on our serves and balls hit from the baseline,” said Bob Bryan.  “It is just a fantastic all-court racquet and one of the things we loved instantly was the ‘clunk’ solid sound it makes upon ball strike.”

“The doubles game is getting better.  Teams are improving and strong singles players on tour are starting to learn how to play.  We need to continue to get better and evolve our game and without question we think we have improved since making the racquet switch.  It was important for me to be able to carve out some more angles at net and do more with short balls,” said Mike Bryan.

The switch has proved to be a smart move.  Aside from taking home the year’s first Grand Slam event, the Bryans executed a dramatic end to last season when for the fifth time, they ended the year as the world’s top team by winning the ATP Tour Doubles Finals in London.  They came into that tournament 800 points behind Nestor and  Zimonjic, but in the end, claimed the year-end No.1 ranking.

Even their father, coach Wayne Bryan, echoes Mike and Bob’s feelings about their new frames.  “The Bros. absolutely love them and say it has the best feel of any stick they have every played with – which really is a strong testament and says something special. And, they like the looks of it too. “

The Bryans are just two of more than 50 players on tour, including Nikolay Davydenko, Gael Monfils and Maria Sharapova among others, who are now taking advantage of Prince’s O-technology, a unique series of holes along the frame of the racquet.

More information on the Bryan Brothers, their  EXO3 Ignite Team 95 racquet, and all Prince players and products can be found at www.princetennis.com.

An Excerpt From “American Doubles”

“The Bryans Rule”

An excerpt, printed with permission, from AMERICAN DOUBLES …the Trials …the Triumphs …the Domination by Marcia Frost. The book, published by Mansion Grove House, is available on Amazon.com, BN.com, and AmericanDoublesBook.net.

Kathy Bryan was playing a doubles match on her due date so her boys were literally born to play tennis when they made their appearance on April 29, 1978. Bob and Mike Bryan grew up in Camarillo, California, a small farm town that is known more for raising lemons and strawberries than tennis players. But Kathy and Wayne Bryan changed all that and instead reared the most famous twins in the tennis world.

In 2007, the Bryan Brothers earned the No. 1 place in the world for three consecutive years and for the fourth time in the past five years. The ITF, which bases the honor on a combination of performance and international competition (i.e. Davis Cup), named them their ITF World Doubles Champions for the fifth straight year. They earned 11 ATP titles in 2007 and, with a total of 44, they are getting close to breaking the all-time record by Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde (“the Woodies”) of 61 titles.

From January of 2005 to July of 2007, the “Boys,” as they are often known, made seven consecutive Grand Slam finals, the first team in the Open era to accomplish that. They completed the Career Grand Slam, becoming only the third doubles team — and first American team — to have won all four major titles in the Open Era (Jacco Eltingh & Paul Haarhuis and the Woodies are the other two).

While Wayne Bryan may have been coach to his boys when they were growing up, he is clear on who had the dreams, “It was not about my goals, it was really just about their goals. Kathy (their mother) and I did everything we could to help them along the path to their goals.” The boys did not watch television and they were not allowed to play against each other in a junior tournament. It was typical to see a “default” as the score when it was a Bryan-Bryan final. The junior tennis world just accepted that was the way it was.

Bob and Mike knew early on what it was they wanted to do. They wrote down their goals and they kept going back to them:

To be No. 1 in the U.S. in Doubles every year in the Juniors
They were No. 1 in the 12s, 14s and 18s (twice);

To get a full ride to Stanford and win the NCAA Team, Doubles and Singles Championship;
They played for Stanford from 1996-98. They led Stanford to the team championship both seasons and won the NCAA Doubles Championship in 1998. Bob also won the singles that year.

To be No. 1 in the World in Doubles;
They accomplished this for the first time in 2003.

To win all the Grand Slam Doubles titles;
They have won two Australian Opens, two French Opens, two Wimbledons and one U.S. Open Championship.

To be the Davis Cup Doubles Team for the U.S. and win the Davis Cup for the U.S.
They clinched the United State’s first Davis Cup final in 12 years on December 1, 2007.

Writing down the goals was an important part of the process, says Wayne, “We (their mother and I) feel you must see it before you can dream it and you must be passionate about it before you can achieve it. We felt it was very important that they knew the ‘real deal’ and all the thousands of steps it took to get up to the top of the mountain, and at the same time we always wanted them to have a smile on their face and learn the great lessons of life along the way and help other people on their journey…And we wanted to leave the tennis campsite cleaner than we found it.”

It is the bond between the two brothers that led them to both choose a doubles career even after Bob, who won the 1998 NCAA Singles Championship, had a good shot at a career in that event.

James Blake spoke a bit about the talent of the Twins at that [the 2007 Davis Cup final in Portland, Ore.], “We have so much fun watching them because we’re constantly in awe of how good their hands are, how well they move together, how great Mike’s returning, how close Bob gets to the net, how well they’re doing everything.”

It was a long road to Portland from when Mike and Bob went to the Davis Cup match in La Costa, California, when they were just 11 years old. As juniors they won 10 national junior doubles titles, including an unmatched five USTA National Clay Court Championships. They were also the first team to win backto- back USTA National Boys’ 18 titles at Kalamazoo in 50 years. Along the way, Bob managed to pick up six national junior singles trophies, while Mike got five. They were the last brothers (in 1996) to be ranked in the Top 10 of the Boys’ 18 division of the USTA National Junior Rankings at the same time.

To those watching The Twins off the court, there are still other subtle ways to tell the guys apart. Bob has always worn a shell beaded necklace. He is also taller — 6’4” to Mike’s 6’31/2”.

The final goal on Bob and Mike’s list was achieved in when they clinched that Davis Cup for the United States, but that doesn’t mean the twins are done playing. “Doubles is a game that you develop into your early, mid 30s,” says Bob. “See guys in their 30s getting better. I think we’ll still improve.”

April 29, 2008 marked the 30th birthday of Bob and Mike Bryan. As they head into their 30s they decided to just add to the list the goal of chasing some records. The “Woodies” currently hold the record for the most year end number one finishes (5), however, it looks like that record will not last for much longer if Bob and Mike have their way.