Were you chewing the fat with Mike or Bob? That was the question on many lips Monday night at the first annual Taste of Tennis Miami at W South Beach. Presented by Citi, the posh, poolside event (which has kicked off the U.S. Open in NYC for the past 15 years) brought together both the culinary and sports worlds.
Identical twin doubles players Bob and Mike Bryan shook hands and took selfies with attendees who paid $200 a ticket to mingle with such athletes as Danish tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki and try food by the likes of Andrew Carmellini (The Dutch), Paula DaSilva (3030 Ocean) and Dustin Ward (BLT Prime). A percentage of proceeds went to FIU College of Architecture + The Arts.
The 36-year-old California boys — in town for the Miami Open in Key Biscayne — are super tough to tell apart. Same moviestar grin. Same playful eyes. They also can act as one another’s spokesman.
Tampa-based Mike, the elder by two minutes, reported that Bob is a fellow full-fledged Florida guy now, having relocated to the Hallandale Beach area for a woman, now his wife.
“He’s loving the water, wearing the Miami-chic wardrobe, lots of pastels. He’s living the life — he’s got a boat, Jet Skis, all of it,” said Mike, who added he would love to live in the same town as his twin, but his wife won’t let him. “She had a bad experience at a club,” he said, laughing.
Tennis is not the siblings’ only passion, though they surely excel at the sport. Last year, they earned their 100th career title, the most of any doubles team in history, at the 2014 U.S. Open. It’s music. Their funk-country-rap band, The Bryan Bros, is getting more and more street cred, thanks to the group’s star: Jim Bogios of Counting Crows.
“He’s a monster. Unreal. He sings, he drums, does it all. He carries us,” said Mike of the musician.
Also unreal: The baby-faced brothers are going to be the big four-oh before they know it.
But Mike says age is just a number.
“It used to be that in tennis by 40 you were done, but it’s different now. Everyone is taking care of their bodies, stretching, doing yoga, watching their nutrition,” he said. “We’re pretty serious about all that.”