Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Bryans Give Opponents Case of Double Vision : Tennis: Twins get 6-1, 6-0 victory, move into quarterfinals at Ojai.

April 23, 1993|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The ball flew flush into Bryan Heyl's forehead, ricocheted onto his racket and back into his face before falling to the ground for the final point Thursday in a first-round doubles match of the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament boys' 16 division.

Red-faced and stunned, Heyl and teammate Mario Mikula sheepishly accepted handshakes from Bob and Mike Bryan, perhaps unsure which of their identical-twin opponents delivered the knockout blow of the 6-1, 6-0 match.

The top-seeded Bryans, look-alikes from their clothing to the substantial orthodontic hardware revealed in their smiles, nonchalantly accepted congratulations.

Besides being nationally ranked tennis players and straight-A students, the Bryans happen to be . . . rock 'n' roll stars.

The Rio Mesa High freshmen will make a surprise appearance with their father, Wayne, and his rock band, The Inside Group, Saturday during a gig at the California Beach Party in Ventura.

Wayne has it planned this way: Midway through the concert, he asks for volunteers from the audience to join the band and play tambourine. A set of precocious twins who happen to be in the front row jump on stage and demand to play drums and keyboards.

Mike Bryan, "an incredible drummer," according to his father, and Bob, "real good on keyboards," break into "Louie, Louie," the band joins in and the crowd goes nuts.

At song's end, Wayne proudly introduces his sons.

This time, he would like to add, " . . . 1993 Ojai tournament doubles champions." The final is Saturday morning at 8, and the Bryans must win two matches today to qualify. They will face Russell Gimelstob and Jason Sugai of Rolling Hills at 8 a.m. in a quarterfinal match. The semifinals follow at 12:30.

The Bryans, who won the U.S. Tennis Assn. boys' 14 national doubles title last year, are seeking their first Ojai title in six tries. Bob advanced to the boys' 14 division singles final last year and Mike did the same in 1991. This is their first entry in doubles play.

"The competition is better in some other tournaments, but we want to win the Ojai because of the tradition," Bob said.

This is the 94th year of the venerable tournament, but he easily could have been speaking of family tradition: Kathy (Blake) Bryan, the twins' mother, has two Ojai doubles titles to her credit.

Wayne and Kathy are club pros at the Cabrillo Racquet Club in Camarillo and the boys practically live there after school.

Advantage Bryans.

They've always had one another to practice with and compete against. "We've never had to look around for an opponent or a partner," Mike said.

Advantage Bryans.

Although Wayne acknowledges that "tennis permeates our lives," the twins' parents keep their sons careers in perspective. "After a match, win or lose, I ask only one question, 'Water or Gatorade?' " Wayne said. "They are allowed to play poorly. They are allowed to lose. Look at the big picture. How many matches will they play in their lives? We don't get too elated when they win or get upset when they lose."

Advantage Bryans.

Nevertheless, their lives are extremely structured. Weekends are reserved for tournaments and tennis is taboo on Mondays. That's the day for relaxing and playing music.

Homework is done from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. each weekday. Practice begins at 2 p.m. and ends precisely at 6 Tuesday through Friday.

Then it's back to the homework until 8:30, when lights go out.

That doesn't leave much time to play air guitar with their rackets, but, then again, when it comes to rock 'n' roll, the Bryans don't have to fake it.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|