Bryans: Doubles different than when McEnroe played

Sunday, January 19, 2014 /by

Bob and Mike Bryan say they had a 45-minute conversation with John McEnroe about the negative comments he made about getting rid of pro doubles. McEnroe, who won 78 doubles titles in his career, said the game is becoming increasingly worthless.

“Doubles—why are we even playing it?” he said in an interview with The Times of London. “Most of you guys know I love doubles. But I look at it now and say, 'What is this?' I don’t even recognize what this is.

“I don’t know what doubles is bringing to the table. The doubles are the slow guys who aren’t quick enough to play singles. Would it be better off, no disrespect, but would it be better off if there was no doubles at all, and we invest all the money we save elsewhere so that some other guys who never really got into a good position in the sport, end up playing more in singles?”

Bob and Mike Bryan have won a record 93 doubles titles, including 13 Grand Slams. They were upset in the third round of the Australian Open, where they were defending champions.

“We obviously don't agree with what he said as two guys who try to be positive and grow the game,” Mike Bryan told TENNIS.com. “We discussed it. He’s got his own personality and views and we have a lot of respect for him, and he says he has respect for us, and we can agree to disagree. The game is played a lot different when he was on tour and he doesn't recognize it. It’s harder for him to appreciate what is going on. It was a really good conversation to communicate our thoughts and hear what he had to say."

Bob Bryan doesn’t think they changed McEnroe’s mind.

“I’m not so sure of that,” he said with a laugh. “He did a lot of talking. He was venting the way doubles is played, it’s just the new style, now it’s guys ripping from the baseline, getting all over the net, doing a lot of I formation. He probably appreciates his style more. I’m pretty sure it was rogue interview and he went on a rant, but we have done some of those ourselves.”

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