Pros put on a show at Albuquerque Tennis Classic
Via Albuquerque Journal
Thursday night at Dreamstyle Arena looked, if you can imagine, to be the Harlem Globetrotters meet The Gong Show.
What it was supposed to be was the Albuquerque Tennis Classic. This was an exhibition headlined by the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike, surely the greatest doubles duo in the history of tennis.
The opening act pitted Sam Querrey and Mardy Fish in one-set singles match.
Querrey is ranked No 1 in the U.S.. Fish has more or less retired from competition, but he can still play well.
He can have fun, too.
Now and then he would drop his racket on to the court and with hands on hips did some heavy-duty pouting.
“I can’t run anymore,” Fish yelled at one point to the crowd of approximately 800.
When he made a hit a running forehand winner he would grin widely at Querrey and then a moment later, slap a ball kid’s hand.
There was no scoreboard in the arena. There was instead the Bryan brothers’ father, Wayne. He coached his twin sons when they were starting out and now he travels with them when they play these exhibitions. He doesn’t sit in the umpire’s chair. He stands on the court moves and talks like a game show host.
Wayne is the true comic of the group. When someone cracked a hard serve, Papa Bryan said that was 132 miles per hour. Or that was 145 miles per hour. There’s no speed gun around, of course.
If the score means anything, and it really didn’t, Fish beat Querrey, 6-4.
The hijinks continued when Bob and Mike Bryan came out and took on Querrey and Fish. There were several attempts by all four to hit shots between their legs or behind their back.
At one point, the Bryans gathered a line of 10 or 15 small kids and all held hands while the Bryans led the gang around their side of the court sending balls at Querrey and Fish.
Now and then the Bryans, who are famous for chest-bumping each other, would do that with a youngster who was barely net high.
The score of the pro set the four played was 8-3, if anyone was keeping track. The Bryans won, which surprised no one.
When that night ended, Wayne Bryant and his two sons and a saxophonist, got up on a stage and played rock music. Bob and father Wayne on guitar and Mike on keyboard.
On Wednesday night, the Bryans did an exhibition in Midland, Texas. Querrey was with them but Fish had another engagement and Ryan Harrison took his place.
On Friday, with Fish back the gang will travel to Tulsa.
The road show must go on.
View Bryan Brothers – Mike and Bob