Tennis - Olympic Games

Bryan twins target Olympic gold in Rio

Age will be no barrier to another shot at Olympic tennis gold in four years time, London men's doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan said.

 
Bryan twins eye Rio gold - Tennis - Olympic GamesReuters
 

The 34-year-old American twins, the world's best doubles pair for most of the last decade, beat Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra on Saturday to complete the so-called "golden slam" having already won 11 tennis majors together.

Despite the fact they will be 38 by the time the Rio Games roll around, they believe they will still be a force and can defend the Olympic title they waited so long to win.

"I mean we talked about it, 2016 is a goal," Mike Bryan told Reuters early on Monday at the Team USA House in the Royal College of Art in central London.

"We want to go to Rio. I mean, we're going to be 38-years-old, we're not the young guys any more, but the training starts today. We're going to get ready for it."

That might sound an ambitious target, but doubles pairs rely on skill, teamwork and know-how as much as the pure athleticism, power and stamina which is vital for the top singles players.

While few singles players, with obvious exceptions such as Andre Agassi and now Roger Federer, flourish once they hit 30, doubles specialists go on and on.

"Doubles is a sport you can play until your late 30s, early 40s," said Bob. "A couple of guys, a lot of guys, who are top 10 in the world in the doubles are closing in on 40.

"So that's our goal, we've already talked about it, and Rio, we've already put the pin on the calendar, and that's going to be a good way to shut it down."

Reflecting on winning the gold medal on Centre Court, where they had twice won the Wimbledon doubles title together, they said it was a unique experience.

"You dream of it, but to actually have a gold medal in the pocket now is a really special feeling," Mike said.

"It kind of feels like we're part of an elite group of athletes, not just tennis players, but guys we idolise like Carl Lewis. It's pretty cool.

"And to do it at Wimbledon, with so much history. Tennis is our life and Wimbledon is the house where it all kind of started. It was really memorable."

There is no time to relax though. They are straight back into action in Toronto on Tuesday as they seek to reclaim the world No. 1 doubles ranking.

"The tennis season is brutal. We were tempted to pull out of the tournament, hang out, kind of bask in our glory, but we have goals, we want to finish the year number one. That means getting back on the horse as soon as possible," Bob said.

 - Eurosport
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