Bryan Brothers Aim For Gold, Both In Olympics And At Home
The 2012 Olympic Games are quickly approaching, and soon the city of London will be swarming with professional athletes from all over the world.
But Bob and Mike Bryan, from the sunny city of Camarillo, CA, have something to prove. So far, this dynamic duo has an astounding 75 wins on the Association of Tennis Professionals World Tour. They hold the record for most consecutive doubles Grand Slam Finals with seven and they bested John McEnroe by spending 271 weeks at #1 in the world. As a pair they have been nearly unstoppable.
One would say that Bob and Mike Bryan have done it all... except for one thing. Win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
"Everyone knows what an Olympic medal is," Mike Bryan said. "Winning the bronze in Beijing was one of the best moments of our career. You know, we've won slams and the Davis Cup, but to win an Olympic medal is something special. So, hopefully, we can upgrade that bronze to something a little more shiny."
The Bryan brothers are facing some stiff competition this year, competing against world-class challengers that even the most passive sports fan has heard of.
"[Roger] Federer and [Stanislas] Wawrinka won the gold in Beijing, so they'll be a team," Mike Bryan said. "There's a lot of tough teams. We looked at the list of 32 teams and there's no real weak ones. You know, you've got the Murray brothers, Andy Murray and Jamie Murray, playing together. Djocavic is playing with a great doubles player in [Nenad] Zimonjic. There's 32 really good teams, so we're going to have to be on our game right from the start."
But, Bob and Mike aren't all about gold. Playing tennis professionally was a dream of theirs since they were kids, and they work tirelessly to bring those same dreams to kids who may not have the opportunity to.
The duo has teamed up with Citi, working with them on the Every Step of the Way program, benefiting the National Recreation and Park Association's "Tennis in the Parks" initiative.
"Our charity, Tennis in the Parks, encourages kids to play tennis at a young age," Mike Bryan said. "We're building kid-sized courts in parks and giving away kid-sized rackets, and for us that's what it's all about, bringing as many youth to the game as possible. You know, we started playing at age two and it's a game you can play for a lifetime."
Bob Bryan says the program also benefits future fans.
"There are so many kids playing soccer and baseball," Bryan said. "We want to drag some of those kids into tennis and the only way to do that is to get kid-sized courts at these parks. So hopefully in ten years, you're going to see the next superstar."
So far, the brothers have helped bring the sport to millions of kids who otherwise would not have an outlet for the sport.
During the next few weeks, the Bryan brothers will battle it out with some of the greatest names in tennis to bring glory to the USA. But, little do they know, the true gold may be hitting a tennis ball against the fence encircling one of their courts.