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Twin Bill in Men's Doubles

June 08, 2003|Diane Pucin | Times Staff Writer

PARIS — Bob and Mike Bryan bumped chests, thumped arms, slapped backs and, in between pumping each other up, thoroughly thrashed defending champions Paul Haarhuis and Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the French Open men's doubles finals.

Though neither twin slept more than two hours Friday night, they had enough energy to whip the 11th-seeded Haarhuis of the Netherlands and Kafelnikov of Russia, 7-6 (3), 6-3. This was the first major championship for the third-seeded Bryans of Camarillo and they could not contain their excitement.

"This is a dream come true for us," Mike said. "We've always had these doubles goals where we want to win a Grand Slam, we want to be No. 1 in the world.

"We've been working on the court since we were 2 years old, four hours a day and doing doubles drills. To come out here and be on this stage, it's the biggest moment of our lives. To go through it with a twin brother is unbelievable."

Because he is superstitious, the Bryans said, their father, Wayne, stayed home. "He's jumping off the walls," Mike said. "He's jacked," said Bob. "He said the e-mails are coming in one a second right now."

"I'm surprised he's still alive," Mike said. "When he watches our matches he does push-ups and sit-ups. He blew out his back at 3 a.m. last year watching one of our matches. Couldn't walk for two months," Bob said.

Bob is two minutes younger and one inch taller than 6-foot-3 Mike. The twins, who are working with a new coach, Philip Farmer, won their 11th career title, making them the winningest brother doubles team in the open era of tennis. The 25-year-olds passed Tim and Tom Gullikson and after their win Saturday, they dedicated this Grand Slam victory to Tim, who died of brain cancer seven years ago.

"We wrote 'Tim' on our shoe today, both of us," Bob said. "I wrote it on my grip. We just wanted to dedicate the win to Tim and Tom."

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