US Open 2014 – Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan - UBITENNIS
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US Open 2014 – Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan

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TENNIS US OPEN – 7th of September 2014. B. Bryan/M. Bryan d. M. Granollers/M. Lopez 6-3, 6-4. An interview with Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan

 

Q. What are your feelings hitting 100? Sum it up for us.

BOB BRYAN: Yeah, I mean, it’s amazing relief, you know, ecstacy. You know, I was having flashbacks to my whole career towards the end of that match. It was wild. I was thinking juniors, college. It was an incredible moment. I was trying to stay in the moment, but it was impossible. I mean, this number right here, we have really been looking at for a couple of years. Greg wrote that story three months ago when we hit 98. I told him, Just hold off. We’re not even to 99. He burned us for a few months. (Smiling.) But, you know, there are so many things that go along with this US Open title. We were really just trying to win the title. Then you got the 100, the ten years with the slam, first slam of the year. Yeah, our fifth Open, there is no words to describe it.

Q. Better than you imagined it?

BOB BRYAN: Yeah.

MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, it’s always sweet winning a Grand Slam. This just adds some extra whip cream and cherries and nuts on top. To win a slam for the 10th consecutive year, that was kind of in the back of our heads, too. I mean, it was just great. We went out there and played a good match. We do get nervous. I think it was something like our 27th Grand Slam final. It feels like it was our first. You know, we were jittery. Tough to eat, tough to sleep. You know, but we kind of rose above it. I thought it was kind of our best match of the tournament against a really tough team that posed a lot of challenges. I think it helped having two days off to practice for that specific team, because they play like no other team out there. They are so close to the net. They have great groundstrokes. We had some good strategies to counteract that. Yeah, as Bob said, it was kind of like ecstacy. Right when the match finished it was a relief. So much emotions. I don’t think we have ever done this kind of dirty dancing swan dive. That was a first. (Laughter.)

BOB BRYAN: You felt light as a feather. (Laughter.)

MIKE BRYAN: Yeah.

Q. Was that dirty dancing move a miscommunicated…

MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, it was a miscommunicated chest bump. I went for it; Bob didn’t lift off.

BOB BRYAN: It gets ugly sometimes.

MIKE BRYAN: I remember Charleston. We won a big Davis Cup match. We both went in for the hug in the air. That doesn’t work out. Dangerous. So dangerous if you hug in the air and you have to come down together. Yeah, you never know. I mean, that just was a great feeling winning that match point, just getting over the finish line there.

BOB BRYAN: Hell, yeah, it was.

Q. It’s been quite a journey. Take us into the flashbacks.

BOB BRYAN: Hitting our first balls at the club, playing our first tournament at age six. Saw that. Yeah, I mean, Kalamazoo when we were — it’s all relative. We were just as Jacked to win Kalamazoo as we are here to get 100. You know, same thing with the NCAAs. I slept with that NCAA trophy in my bed for a night. To win that first slam, I remember flying over the English Channel to Queen’s, and I was most scared I have ever been that the plane was gonna crash. It’s like, We have done it, and now I’m going to go down in a ball of flames for some reason. I just want to enjoy this for a little bit.

MIKE BRYAN: There was some nasty turbulence.

BOB BRYAN: Incredible turbulence. Obviously the Davis Cup was — it’s been a really storybook career, and this is kind of a cap, you know, right on top. Just neat little bow on this career.

Q. What was the first one when you were six?

BOB BRYAN: Lake Lindero.

MIKE BRYAN: 1985, novice tournament. Met in the finals of the singles and won the doubles. Took home four trophies. I think we might have slept with that trophy, too.

BOB BRYAN: Hell, yeah. We did.

Q. Where are your parents today?

MIKE BRYAN: They were at home watching it. They don’t like to watch it live. They watch the scores tick. Sometimes they get too nervous. Like during our Wimbledon final they went on a drive to Santa Barbara an hour away. Drove up; drove back. Got home, checked the scores, and we lost.

BOB BRYAN: Once we start going later in the tournaments we start losing touch with people. We’re not calling our parents anymore. I haven’t really talked to them. Usually we’re FaceTiming with the kids and, you know, your mind just starts focusing on that prize, you know, and you don’t want to talk about too much stuff. So now after all this is released we’ll call them and really enjoy a nice conversation. I’ll see my dad at Davis Cup. But, yeah, you’re in that crazy focus mode.

MIKE BRYAN: For two weeks.

BOB BRYAN: For two weeks. Finally just get to laugh again.

MIKE BRYAN: Be a person again.

Q. So two things? Obviously this is an amazing symmetry to winning here. Do you believe in karma? Secondly, you have won so much and many places through all these years. You said a moment ago that Kalamazoo felt the same. Do qualities of wins of these feel different or not really?

MIKE BRYAN: I think we do believe in a little bit of karma, but sometimes there is no fairytale ending. Last year we were going for the slam. That would have been really nice. We have also lost 11 Grand Slam finals, which every one stings; four or five days Davis Cup matches. This one has been cool. I mean, it’s been kind of good karma to win the gold medal. And as Bob said, like Kalamazoo and US Open juniors and NCAAs, it just seems like we have hit every milestone and step along the way. So I don’t know. It does feel like we have good karma. We pick up trash when we see litter on the street.

BOB BRYAN: Try to sign every autograph, you know, and take pictures, selfies. You’re hoping that’s gonna add up to something.

Q. Do you ever just hit yourself and say, Is this for real? How do you maintain being who you are with the success that you have had? Because I want to applaud you on that. (Applause.)

MIKE BRYAN: Thank you.

BOB BRYAN: Yeah, I mean.

Q. So how do you do that?

BOB BRYAN: It feels great to be recognized and to achieve something great in a sport you have dedicated your life to. We have sacrificed everything since two, three years old; didn’t feel like we were sacrificing because we were having so much fun at a young age. As you mature and look back you say, Gee, I didn’t go to my high school program. I had one sip of alcohol pretty much my whole life. That’s unusual, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I mean, we got everything. I got three incredible trophies over there sitting over your right shoulder: Michelle, Micaela, and Bobby Junior. That puts a smile on my face every day. I think that also made it easier to play well in this incredible, huge moment knowing I already had that in my back pocket.

Q. And you share all this with Wayne and Kathy, of course. How special is that to have them be in the game with you?

MIKE BRYAN: Yeah, I mean, they are the two most supportive parents kids could ask for. We got really positive parents, and they are always with us in our toughest moments. We have said a million times before, when we lose our match we go check our e-mail right away. Our e-mails are already in there with everything we have done in our career, and he takes losses just as hard as we do. It’s pretty amazing. They are the first people we call after wins, and they have been with us every step of the way. Countless hours. My mom fed us a million balls. Dad took us to tournaments. Couldn’t have done it without them. We had a happy tennis family. We’re still closer now than we have ever been.

Q. I was talking to guys work with Team Bryan, and they emphasize how much you give back working with their kids and programs, as well. Where do you guys get the energy, and what’s your philosophy about giving so much back, which you continue to do even though you have won everything?

BOB BRYAN: Our dad instilled that in us, doing so many clinics, inspirational speeches, and we were always traveling around with him as kind of the show ponies. We do drills. You know, the Jensens were one of our big idols and they gave back more than anyone and signed every autograph. And then Agassi set a great example for all the young Americans to set up their foundations and raise money for good causes. As we get older, we’re really trying harder to raise more money and do good in this game. You know, you mature and you start to see the good you can do and the impact you can make on the youth. We’ll start shifting our focus more to the foundation as our career winds down. Yeah, our dad, the Jensens, Agassi, they are all great role models for that.

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EXCLUSIVE: Felix Auger-Aliassime Previews Musetti Semi-Final, Aims For ATP Finals Spot

Felix Auger-Aliassime spoke to UbiTennis about his semi-final in Florence with Lorenzo Musetti.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime (@AlemTenis - Twitter)

UbiTennis director Ubaldo Scanagatta spoke with Felix Auger-Aliassime after his 6-3 6-4 quarter-final victory over Brandon Nakashima in Florence.

 

The Canadian is into the last four at the ATP 250 event in Florence after defeating Brandon Nakashima in a routine straight sets victory in Italy.

Despite being broken in the opening game, Auger-Aliassime remained calm and collected as he secured victory in 90 minutes.

Next for Auger-Aliassime is Lorenzo Musetti who he has lost to twice with one of those meetings happening in Monte-Carlo this year.

In an exclusive interview with UbiTennis director Ubaldo Scanagatta, Auger-Aliassime spoke about why the match-up has been tough for him in the past and whether their meetings on clay will impact this match.

The world number 13 also spoke about aiming to reach the ATP Finals in Turin and how much it would mean to him be a part of the elite eight at the end of the year.

Scanagatta: Here we are with Felix Auger-Aliassime who won quite easily against Nakashima, Am I wrong if I say quite easily or easier?

Auger-Aliassime: Easier. It’s always relative to your level and the perspective you want to look at it because the score. I got broken first came and come back well, it’s always tough to come back from a break down but I did well to bounce back from the first game and then I played a great set of tennis in the first set, a really good level. Then again starting the second set very good, so then holding serve until the end. So it was a great match and a great performance but I had to play my best tennis in order to win like this.

Scanagatta: Listen, can I give you good news? Tonight you are eighth in the race, 20 points more than Fritz because Fritz 2,885 and you went to 2,905.

Auger-Aliassime: You know they have it on the internet?

Scanagatta: Yes but they had to take away 45, not everybody knows that you have already completed, you are only 20 points ahead, sometimes UbiTennis is better. Apart from that you have to play Musetti and against Musetti you are down 2-1, you won Barcelona, where he had to retire but was up one set and then the other two was always played on clay. Is this better for you? Because today Musetti said I like very much this surface and I have more time and so on.

Auger-Aliassime: Look, he’s been playing very well.

Scanagatta: Have you seen him today?

Auger-Aliassime: I watched a little bit of the match today. Seemed like he was playing very good. He was hitting the ball very well, aggressive and precise. He’s a good player and he’s one of the top young players. You know I lost twice to him so of course it proves the quality that he has not only against me but he beat a lot of good players so I have to be ready for a tough match. I think potentially it can be the toughest match that maybe I have to play this week. So I have to be ready for that.

Scanagatta: He is going to have his best ranking next Monday, he will be 24 and only 23 if he would win the tournament, 24 already for being in the semi-final. What do you remember of those matches when you played him? What you recall?

Auger-Aliassime: Well he has a great touch as we all know, especially on clay he was very precise and a great touch mixing it well, the backhand. We had a close match in Lyon, I don’t remember Lyon very well but I remember the first time and of course this year in Monte-Carlo where he played really good and I wasn’t serving well and being as aggressive as I am today. But he was playing really well, backhand cross and down the line, forehand was very aggressive so he is a good player and a complete player so that’s all I can say.

Scanagatta: How important is it for you to make the Finals, the ATP Finals in Turin? Which would give you another chance to come back to Italy and eat some pasta…

Auger-Aliassime: Yeah that’s why I want to do it. That’s why it’s important because it’s in Turin and it would be great of course. You know like I said earlier this week, I love to play in Italy and not only it’s in Italy but it’s one of the best tournaments in the year. It would be a privilege to be in that group of eight players. Of course my position now, like everybody on your sheet, we’re fighting hard to make it but the competition is tough so I mean it starts at the start of the year so at the end of the day it’s not like, all the results I had throughout the year some wins, some losses it has an impact now. Of course now I’m still in a good position, so I will try to push through the last tournaments of the year and to qualify will be great.

Scanagatta: OK last question, Why you always wear black, these days I always see you wear black. Does Adidas asking is it because you like to play at night because it’s more elegant or you choose one or the other?

Auger-Aliassime: No I have a collection from New York and I change the collection there. I have black and I have purple and I thought I like the black with colourful shoes so I’m interested in my style, so it needs to work. The collection that I have I have for the rest of the year, I like it that way with colourful shoes and very neutral colours.

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EXCLUSIVE: Felix Auger-Aliassime Eyes Improvement In Florence, Opens Up About Friendship With Berrettini

Canada’s top player sheds some light on his current game during an exclusive interview with Ubaldo Scanagatta.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime - (Ben Solomon/Kosmos)

Top seed Felix Auger-Aliassime kicked off his bid for a second Tour title at the UniCredit Firenze Open on Thursday with a roller-coaster win. 

 

The Canadian world No.12 outlasted Germany’s Oscar Otte 6-4, 6-7(2), 6-2, in a match that lasted two-and-a-half hours. Auger-Aliassime’s triumph moves him into his 13th Tour-level quarter-final of 2022 and improves his win-loss record to 41-24. 

This season has seen Auger-Aliassime achieve new milestones in his career, including winning his first Tour title at the Rotterdam Open, reaching a ranking-high of No.8 in August and defeating a top three player for the first time (No.3 Alexander Zverev at the ATP Cup). 

Following his latest win in Florence, the 22-year-old spoke exclusively to Ubitennis. Giving a frank assessment of his current form and his chances of winning a second Tour trophy this week in Italy. 

Ubaldo Scanagatta: You won what was a very difficult match in three sets. I expected you to win in two, what about you?

Auger-Aliassime: You never know before the match. When the match was underway I won the first set 6-4 and then I was playing great in the second, I had an early break. I was serving good. 

So I didn’t play so bad but he played some good points. I got a bit tight. Then the tiebreak was terrible for me. That was very difficult to accept but after it was good to come back and finish the match in a good way. 

Ubaldo Scanagatta: It was quite strange to see you lose two serves in a row (in the second set) and then you were serving a lot towards his backhand sometimes which was a surprise because he plays much better with his backhand than the forehand. Was that a tactical approach?

Auger-Aliassime: It depends. I was serving more to the forehand with my first serve and then I tried to mix it up with my second serve. Sometimes when you’re on the court you have to make a decision and you don’t know how your opponent is going to react. 

I think in the third set, in the games I was directing more towards his forehand side, making him move there and getting some short balls. After that, I was playing better tactically. 

Ubaldo Scanagatta: You will next play Nakashima who is a player making great progress on the Tour. This year he has made a lot of improvements. Have you ever played him before?

Auger-Aliassime: I’ve never played him. We have only practiced together but he is a great player who has improved a lot. He’s consistent and very precise. He has a good serve and a good return. He has a complete game for a young player who I think will improve more and become a top player to play against. 

Ubaldo Scanagatta: Your best ranking was No.8 and you have won one tournament in Rotterdam. Also, you have lost quite a few finals but how do you find this surface in Florence? How do you rate your chances of winning? 

Auger-Aliassime: It’s always a good challenge. Today (Thursday) I played three sets but I know I have to play better in order to win the tournament. I have to take it match-by-match. 

It’s a good challenge because it is where I want to be as a player. I want to be at the top, fighting for this spot (the title). To be at the top of the draw and try to win. It starts at these tournaments, I have to be able to step up to the challenge. 

It’s also a good opportunity for me to try and prove myself, and become a better player. 

Ubaldo Scanagatta: Matteo Berrettini said that you are his best friend on the Tour. Do you still see him as much as before as he was dating somebody that you may know….? (tennis player Ajla Tomljanovic who is also cousins with Aliassime’s girlfriend Nina Ghaibi). 

Auger-Aliassime: He’s a good guy and I get along well with him. We have played a few doubles in the past years but now it is a bit less as he plays more with his brother. 

We also practice together and train in Monaco.

Ubaldo Scanagatta: Were you surprised that Matteo lost in Florence? He was complaining a bit about the slow surface. 

Auger-Aliassime: We practiced together (in Florence earlier this week), and it was a good set – 7-6 like every time we play. He won it, I had a set point but I lost. Of course, I was surprised, I think he had opportunities in the second set. So it’s tough. I saw him at breakfast, it is tough to lose when you’re at home. Everybody has come to see you. 

I know how he feels. I played in Montreal this year, had a tough loss and it is never easy to go out like this. But there are still a few tournaments this year and hopefully, he can bounce back. 

Ubaldo Scanagatta: Finally, what is your general impression about playing in Italy?

Auger-Aliassime: I used to come here when I was under 12. I remember going to Trieste, they had this tournament in Porto San Giorgio. I also played here many times in Challengers. It’s a country that loves tennis. As a player, you come here and on the first day of practice, everybody is there (to watch you). In the city, people say hello and wish you good luck, so it’s really lovely when you’re playing in Rome. Hopefully, if I play in Turn (at the ATP Finals) it will be the same or maybe even better. 

It is really nice that they (the ATP) were able to organize a tournament here (in Florence) and I love everything about it. I felt good from the moment I came, the city is great and the people have given me amazing support. 

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EXCLUSIVE: Mackenzie McDonald Reveals Minor Italian Connection After Reaching Florence Quarter-Finals

In an exclusive interview with UbiTennis, Mackenzie McDonald reveals his love for Italian culture.

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Mackenzie McDonald (@thenet_m - Twitter)

Mackenzie McDonald revealed his love for Italian culture in an exclusive interview after beating Francesca Passaro 6-4 7-5 to reach the Florence quarter-finals.

 

The American beat the Italian wildcard in straight sets to seal his place in the Florence quarter-finals where he will face another Italian in the form of third seed Lorenzo Musetti.

McDonald has suffered a number of injuries but has returned to the tour in fine fashion and is now a consistent top 100 player.

In an exclusive interview with UbiTennis director Ubaldo Scanagatta, McDonald revealed what it’s like to face an Italian player in Italy and why he loves the European country so much.

Scanagatta: First of all Congratulations, secondly tell us something about this match and you had to play an Italian and do you remember other matches played against Italians in Italy where you had all the crowd against you?

McDonald: I haven’t played in Italy a lot. Besides Challengers, I think this is my first ATP, well besides Rome, playing an Italian in Italy is definitely a tough feat and the crowd’s all for him, it was pretty difficult to deal with that but I think the next match too against maybe Musetti? It will be even crazier so we’ll see what happens.

Scanagatta: But the linesman and everything was fine, you didn’t have any problem with the umpiring and nothing else? Because 20-30 years ago, it was much more difficult to beat an Italian in Italy and what happened in Rome? Who did you play with? Do you remember?

McDonald: I think I lost to Sousa, the Portuguese player.

Scanagatta: How do you find this court and can you tell me if you saw anything of Florence, I mean is it the first time for you in your life? Do you have any impression about the city?

McDonald: Yeah, I mean I went out the other night, the first night I got in, which was nice went to downtown and walked along the river, across the bridge to the church and the cathedral in the middle. So I got to see the main basic things in Florence, there’s definitely more things I want to see. My sister actually spent a lot of time in Italy, it’s one of her favourite countries, she actually named her son Rome. So there’s definitely more I want to see and I’m going to Naples next week too so I’m enjoying the food and I’m going to be in Italy for at least another week so it will be fun.

Scanagatta: What about the next round? Say something about the two players you may have to play?

McDonald: I haven’t played either one. So not too sure what to expect I mean their both very good players, both in form. I mean everyone wants to do well here in the quarters, so it will be a tough match for sure. I think I’m just going to enjoy this one today and then I’ll focus on that one maybe later tonight or tomorrow but definitely will be a challenge tomorrow.

Scanagatta: There were five Americans here in this tournament, you were one of the five, quite a lot for a tournament in Italy. What do you expect about United States playing Italy in Davis Cup even if maybe you will not be in the team but Fritz and Tiafoe are playing very very well, how do you explain the comeback of the American Tennis after few years which were so-so?

McDonald: I think we got a lot of depth right now. We have a lot of guys in the top 200, just like you guys, and a lot of guys in the top 100. All different types of players too, we’re all competing and pushing each other at the top too. We’ve got Fritz who is top ten now, one of my best friends. We have a lot of talent so I think we have a good chance against Italy, it will be an exciting match for sure.

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