- Greg Garber, Writer, Reporter
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NEW YORK -- After John McEnroe made comments about how doubles specialists are just failed singles players, at least one member of the Bryan family wasn't treating the Monday exhibition between Mike and Bob Bryan and John and Patrick McEnroe lightly.
And that was father Wayne Bryan.
"He's watching back at home he didn't really care about the entertainment," Bob said. "He wanted us to stomp them."
And they stomped. The "slow" Bryans jumped to a 7-0 lead before winning the match 8-3 in front of the Madison Square Garden crowd. The doubles match was a warm-up at the annual BNP Paribas Showdown.
"It's obviously never fun to read comments that are negative; we're positive guys and we're trying to grow the game," Mike said. "We've talked about it; everything is fine. We love Johnny Mac and P-Mac. We had a good friendly match out there. There's no bad blood."
John McEnroe made these comments in the lead up to the match:
"Most players, doubles players, I hate to say, are the slow guys who were not quick enough to play singles," McEnroe said. "Would the Bryan Brothers have made it as singles players? No. What do you think there are playing doubles for?
"I like them and single-handedly they are trying to keep doubles going. But sometimes I hear people saying they are the greatest doubles team. I'm like, excuse me."
The Bryans have worked for years with Patrick McEnroe, who has been the Davis Cup coach and a part of the USTA coaching hierarchy. That relationship is undeniably close, so did the younger McEnroe agree with his brother?
"He's a prisoner of war," Bob joked. "He got caught in the middle."
John McEnroe has a long history of making outrageous comments, whether it's challenging the Williams sisters to a match or some of his on-court hysterics. His comments about the Bryans may have just been gamesmanship, or they could have been a sharp critique of the modern doubles game.
There are no guys traveling out here that are journeymen that are enjoying the pro tennis lifestyle," Bob said. "Everyone is in the gym two hours a day. If you go to these tournaments they warm up for an hour before the match and they warm up for another half hour right before the match. Everyone's got a trainer. This is serious stuff. And that's changed a lot in the 15 years that we're been on the tour. It's getting more professional."
The McEnroes may be quite a bit older, John is 55 while the Bryans are 35, but nothing settles an argument like a decisive win.
"I don't know how John's going to take it because we're in midseason form, and we're the No. 1 team in the world," Bob said.