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Mike and Bob Bryan started what was supposed to be their final season of professional tennis with renewed thirst for touring the globe and rewriting tennis' doubles record books one last time. Bob was healthy again and ready for a ful schedule after completing a long rehab of his surgically repaired right hip. Mike was eager as well, happy to have his twin back by his side.

But just two months into their swan song everything has ground to a halt as the Coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe and put the kibosh professional sports for the foreseeable future.

Listen to a full interview with the Bryan Brothers and Jon Wertheim (it's great) below:


What a difference a month makes. In February the brothers won their 119th team doubles title at Delray Beach and in early March they played their final Davis Cup tie, and sent Team USA to the Davis Cup finals with a tie-clinching victory.

Just over three weeks later they are safe at home in California, and unsure if they will get the chance to resume their final season at all.

Speaking with Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated the brothers said they are chilling in their hometown of Camarillo, California. Bob is recovering from illness and Mike is getting ready to become a father—his wife Nadia is expecting in the next month.

“Little Jake, we’ve already got the name,” Mike Bryan said of his No.1 mission while waiting out the pandemic. “Just getting on high alert to make the run to the hospital here. Actually it’s a nice surprise to spend some time at home because we are never here. We are always on the road so to have a little routine and wake up in your own bed—it feels good.

“I’ve seen how much joy the kids have brought into Bob’s life. I am just stoked I am feeling the baby kick in Nadia’s stomach every day. We have the baby room ready we’ve already painted it, we have the kids, we have the car sets – we are fired up.”


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ 👀 ❤️ 👶🏼 🎾 🙏 🚀 #love #gratitude #lookingup

A post shared by Mike Bryan (@mikecbryan) on



With Wimbledon cancelled as of Wednesday, the Bryans are wondering just how much tennis they’ll actually be able to play in 2020.

“It’s very tough,” Bob Bryan said. “We’ve always had a tournament to look forward to and a goal, something to train for, right now we don’t have that, so tennis-wise we’re kind of taking a break, just healing up the body, staying fit around the house, but as far as the tennis no we’re not in high training right now,” says Bob.

The question we all want answered was asked, and elaborated upon by Wertheim. Here is what each brother had to say about the potential of adding another season to their career if the Coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on tennis in 2020.


I gather this has not caused you to rethink the gameplan for 2020 to wind it down at the end of the season? Wertheim asked.

“There’s so many kind of unanswered questions right now,” said Bob. “It wasn’t in the plan, we wanted to go around, play our favorite tournaments and say our goodbyes and get a last taste of the tour before we shut it down. We’re obviously getting robbed of that in one way. If we can come back and play a summer and finish at the Open the way we talked about, yeah, it might be good enough. But Mike and I, were talking here and there. ‘What if the season goes into December what we’ll do.’ We haven’t made a decision but it’s obviously less balls than we wanted to hit for sure.”

Just to be clear it sounds like you guys are maybe leaving the door open a little bit? Wertheim pressed. This time Mike took the lead:

“We have to talk about it,” he said. “We’re not going to be any younger. We’re going to be fresh, that’s for sure. I mean we’d love to play one more Wimbledon one more French and all these, but it wasn’t in the cards, possibly. If we could play a full summer, Cincinnati would be sweet, DC and the US Open, that could wet our whistle and it could be a great way to go out. But it would have been nice to play all four Slams this year. Indian Wells would have been great because that’s our home tournament, Bob loves Miami, he’s right down the road there. It’s a shame but you just go with the flow.”

Age is most certainly a factor. The Bryans will turn 42 this month and they know that locking down wins at the elite level will only get more difficult.

“We’re turning 42, I don’t know if bodies are supposed to go this long, especially when you start playing tennis at two years old,” Bob said. “We were running around on hard courts playing tennis at six. My hip finally blew out–I have metal parts–right now everything feels great. … With these long seasons your body never gets a chance to catch up, this might be a chance for everyone to catch up and tennis in general might come back and look even better than it has.” With no other choice, Mike says that now is a good time as any to take things slow and get back in touch with self.

“It’s a good place to clear the mind,” said Mike, who has been playing ukulele and studying Slovakian (so that he can speak it with his mother-in-law) in his free time. “Just really reconnect, because the world is a go-go place now, it seems like everyone is chasing, so yeah, this might have happened for a reason. Who knows? We’ve always been chasing our dreams, getting up and going to the gym and this is just… everything is quiet. It just feels like you wake up and you have loads of time.”

Bottom line? It’s a hard time, and there are more uncertainties than certainties right now. But the one thing that the Bryans can teach it is that a little compassion can go a long way.

They’ve been known for being caring individuals off the court, and deep down that will never change.

“Everyone’s hurting,” said Mike. “We feel the pain of everyone. I’ve talked to friends who are maybe going to lose their jobs… we’re just sending love to everyone and thinking about everybody. It’s very uncertain times. Let’s flatten this curve and get back out there.”

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