Wimbledon 2012: Bryan Twins Eye Record Title, Gold Medal In London

 @http://twitter.com/jtalty on June 25 2012 2:14 PM
Bryan Brothers
Mike Bryan of the U.S. (R) and Bob Bryan of the U.S. kiss the winners trophies after defeating Horia Tecau of Romania and Robert Lindstedt of Sweden in their men's doubles final match at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London July 2, 2011. Reuters

The Bryan twins, Bob and Mike, are on the verge of officially staking their claim as the most dominant doubles team in tennis history.

They have the most tour titles in doubles history, but for the past year have been tied at 11 career Grand Slam titles with The Woodies, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodfore. After losing in the Finals of the Australian and French Opens this season, the Bryans are hoping to break through at Wimbledon.

The Bryans have tinkered with their strategy a bit, but have a pretty good idea on how to win at the famed grass courts given their past success and experience against top contenders such as Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor.

Plus the extra shelf life of doubles players gives the Bryans, 34, some reassurance that they still have time to achieve the record.

Obviously when we retire that's something that we want to have, Mike Bryan said.

Bob Bryan agreed, saying, At some point before our careers end we want to get to 12, but we are 34, we still have a lot of tennis to play.

At those same All England Club tennis courts in July, the Bryan twins hope to pull off another major achievement: a gold medal.

The 2012 London Games will be the Bryans' third trip to the Olympics. Their previous two trips resulted in only a bronze medal. In 2004, they say that they didn't have enough experience yet and lost in the quarterfinals, while in 2008 they were worn out to the point that Bob was out of competition for three months afterwards with a shoulder injury.

But for these upcoming Olympics, the Bryan twins feel like they are coming in strong and can finally walk away with the highly sought after gold medal.

We've tailored our entire year for this upcoming stretch of events, Bob Bryan said about Wimbledon and the Olympics. If we win one that'd be great. If we win both, that'd be an epic year.

Winning both events on the same court would be a tremendous achievement for the Bryan brothers, but they admit that they would prefer to win a gold medal at the Olympics. Bob recalls that whenever people look through their trophy case it is the bronze medal from the Beijing Games that first grabs their attention.

There is just something about the Olympics that makes 99 percent of the athletes stoked for the experience, according to the Bryans.

Neither is excited about the high security that comes with the Olympics or the general anonymity of being one of thousands of athletes swarming England this July -- Bob noted that he won't be able to get his wife any special credentials -- though both have the distinction of being a part of Citi's Every Step of the Way program.

The program has brought together 13 athletes of different sports -- sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross and women's soccer player Christie Rampone are two other athletes -- to compete via social media for money for their respective charities.

The Bryan twins are raising money for the National Recreation and Park Association's Tennis in the Parks initiative to build tennis courts and provide tennis rackets for children. In addition to raising money for a great cause, the Bryan twins are also using Citi's heavy promotion of the program to try to raise some interest in doubles tennis, which is often overshadowed by singles competitions.

It's been great exposure for us and for doubles, Bob Bryan said. We are always trying to make doubles bigger and hopefully we can help do that.

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