Masters Cup Preview

A Preview of the Tennis Masters Cup

By:  Sarah Alvanipour
Bob and Mike will be competing in the first Tennis Masters Cup of their young careers beginning this Saturday, November 8 at the Westside Tennis Club in Houston, Texas. The draw ceremony took place on Wednesday, November 5, at 2:00 pm local time at the tournament site. The Brothers have been assigned to the Blue Group and are set to face the team of Damm/Suk in their opening round. They are scheduled to play the second match on Stadium Court, immediately following the conclusion of the Woodbridge/Bjorkman vs. Lladro/Santoro match which begins at 1:00 pm CST.
Bob and Mike arrived in Houston last Saturday to get a jump start on the competition and on their rigorous training schedule. Bob flew in from New York City where he was taking some time off while Mike jetted in from California to meet his other half in Houston. Coach Phil Farmer is also in town along for the ride, as usual, to prepare his No. 1 ranked team for Saturday’s opening round of competition. 

While in Texas, Bob and Mike will be bunking with long-time friend and former Stanford teammate, Al Ansari for the first few days while practicing with former ATP player Tommy Ho. Besides getting in a few practice sets, the Brothers will also be hitting the gym, lifting weights and doing drills, to prep for the upcoming weekend.

It has been an incredible year for the Camarillo twins, who possess all the ingredients to make a championship team, as they proved in June by winning their first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, but confidence may be lacking for the dynamic duo after suffering three first-round losses in a row at Madrid, Basel, and Paris prior to the Masters Cup. The Brothers managed to maintain their top ranking in the Champions Race despite the disappointing indoor season and hope to reaffirm their place in Houston among the best doubles teams in the world. As is the case in the men’s competition, the honor of earning the year-end No. 1 ranking will be decided by the Maters Cup, adding all the more importance to the coveted event. 

As the No. 1 seeds, the Brothers will keep busy off-court as well, participating in promotional events for the Masters Cup Doubles competition throughout the week. Being the lone American team to qualify for the event, Bob and Mike will have a home court advantage, but will be challenged by the other six elite teams in the field. “Mike and Bob will give it all they’ve got and hope to do well back here in the States with the American and Texas fans behind them, but any of those teams could win,” father and coach, Wayne Bryan, speculates.

Mr. Bryan will share the spotlight in the new 7,000 seat stadium, which was completed just in time for the tournament, with his sons. He will serve as the emcee for the event beginning next Tuesday after his hosting commitments for the WTA Tour Championships in Los Angeles, which conclude Monday night, are fulfilled. 

Although he is a nervous father, who at the US Open opted not to attend his sons’ matches due to jittery nerves, Wayne Bryan remains a loyal optimist and a true ambassador to the sport predicting, “Houston and Westside will do an incredible job of wrapping up the ATP year with their wonderful tournament!” The Brothers echo the sentiments, commenting that tournament directors, which include Jim and Linda McIngvale and Kris Young, are doing a spectacular job organizing the tourney and catering to the players.

The 2003 Tennis Masters Cup promises to be an incredible competition. Stay tuned to all this week for on-site coverage of the Tennis Masters Cup live from Houston!



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