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By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, March 3, 2020

 
Bryan Bros

The 41-year-old Bryan brothers are pumped to play their final Davis Cup match this weekend when the United States hosts Uzbekistan in the Davis Cup Qualifier.

Photo credit: Daniel Shirey/USTA

Swan songs aren't always written with ukuleles in mind.

Musical champions Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan arrived in Honolulu armed with ukuleles and their Babolat racquets ready to rock their Davis Cup farewell.

More: Team Bryan Tops Team Sharapova

The 41-year-old Bryan brothers will play their final Davis Cup match this weekend when the United States hosts Uzbekistan in the Davis Cup Qualifier at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

It will the twins' first Davis Cup appearance since they bowed to Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig in the 2016 Davis Cup quarterfinals. Empowered by their run to their 119th ATP title in Delray Beach two weeks ago, the Bryans are determined to go out with a bang. 

"This is our swan song, our last hurrah in Davis Cup," Mike Bryan said. "We played our last one before this a few years ago, lost in Portland. We wanted to kind of redeem ourselves, play for captain Fish.

"It's not a bad place to come to, Oahu. When we saw that, we wanted to put our names in the hat. Excited be back, part of a young team, the next generation. I think they're half our age, Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul. Yeah, good to be back."

It's a reunion of sorts for the Bryans, who have been around so long they were once teammates wtih U.S. Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish. In fact, eight years ago Fish and Mike Bryan partnered to stun Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka helping spark the USA to a 5-0 sweep of Switzerland.

Seeking to reignite the burning intensity the Bryans bring to Davis Cup, captain Fish invited them back this year. The twins say this isn't about passing the torch: they already see the fire in teammates nearly two decades younger. 

"Yeah, look, we're almost 20 years older than this young crop," Bob Bryan said. "They're really making an impact right now. They could be 12 to 18 months away from winning a Grand Slam, one of these guys.

"We think they have the potential. If we can come here and show them the passion of Davis Cup and what it meant to us, instill that in them, I don't think we need to, they already have the fire. They showed it in Madrid. We were watching from the couch. Fritz, Opelka, Paul, they're going to be the heart and soul of this team for many years to come."




Former world No. 33 Denis Istomin, Khumoyun Sultanov, Sanjar Fayziev and Olimjon Nabiev compromise captain Farrukh Dustov's Uzbekistan squad. This is the second meeting between the two nations with the Americans scoring a 3-1 U.S. victory in the 2015 World Group Playoffs.

Wearing the red, white and blue again evokes career highs and lows for the twins from Camarillo, California, who will close the curtain on their 25-year career following the 2020 U.S. Open. This weekend is all about business for the Bryan brothers. 

"Our goal is to move through this team and get the team to Madrid, where the finals is at the end of the year," Mike Bryan said. "Yeah, we're hoping to do our job in doubles. Doubles is a swing point. It's a big one. We want to get the point for the team on Saturday.

"We feel like we have the firepower to get it done. They're a tough squad. We traveled over there a few years ago. It wasn't easy. We expect a tough match." 


It's been 13 years since Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan beat Igor Andreev and Nikolay Davydenko clinching the United States' record-extending 32nd Davis Cup championship with a 4-1 conquest of Russia in the 200 final in Portland.

The twins reveled in a celebratory shower of red,white and blue confetti that day and are pumped for a final taste of Davis Cup excitement this weekend.  

"It's the highlight of our career, clinching that match in Portland," Bob Bryan said. "I know Andy Roddick would tell you the same thing. It's meant everything to Mardy Fish. He really went after the Davis Cup job because it's special to him. He's out there on the side of the court. He's giving us his knowledge.

"I think it's going to be a good mix, a good squad. But we can't underestimate the Uzbekies. They're a solid team." 


 

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