Two weeks after leading Stanford to an NCAA tennis championship--and sweeping through the individual competition--sophomores Bob and Mike Bryan have decided to turn professional.
The twins leave school after having won consecutive team titles. Bob also completed a rare sweep by winning the college singles title and pairing with Mike for the doubles crown.
"This is a step we needed to take," Bob said from his family's Camarillo home. "We felt the tour would be a great place to have our game grow."
Their career begins next week with a USTA satellite event in Waco, Texas. They will play their first ATP Tour event as a doubles team late next month in Washington.
"We know it's going to take some time and we're not afraid of taking our lumps," Mike said. "If singles don't go well at first, we know we have doubles as a safety net."
The brothers came to their decision after a lengthy conversation with Stanford Coach Dick Gould, whose former players include such stars as John McEnroe and Roscoe Tanner.
"Almost any coach would have taken a swing at keeping them," Wayne Bryan, their father, said. "[Gould] didn't. He gave us the straight shot. He said they were ready."
The brothers will be represented by ProServ, whose chairman, Donald Dell, represented their mother, Kathy, when she was on the tour, and arranges youth clinics and speaking engagements for Wayne.
The Bryans insist they will return to Stanford at some point to continue their studies.