Tennis Prose



Locker Room Deals

The Bryan Brothers made their Tennis Channel debut this week as television commentators/analysts. The dynamic duo have been a pleasant surprise, sharing many colorful insights and anecdotes from their pro tennis careers (which began in 1998), including one about a locker room deal before a final in Indian Wells.

The Bryan Brothers reached their first Indian Wells final in 2003 and were scheduled to play Wayne Ferreira and Yevgeny Kafelnikov but a rain storm postponed the final. Ferreira told the Bryan Brothers in locker that he and Kafelnikov were tired from extended Tour travel and wanted to get to Miami for the next stop on the ATP World Tour. Ferreira told Bryan he and the Russian would give them the title if they split prize money equally.

The Bryan Brothers contemplated the offer and then refused to do it – because they wanted to win their first, prestigious Masters Series final in their home state of California fair and square, on the court.

So what happened? Ferreira and Kafelnikov beat the Bryans in the Indian Wells final 36 75 64.

Artwork by David Banegas.

The Bryans did not win their first Indian Wells title until 2013 (vs Janowicz and Huey 63 36 10-6) and then defended in 2014 (vs Peya and Soares 63 64). Those two were the only times the Bryans won in Indian Wells. The Bryans are the only players to win each of the nine ATP Masters Series.

The Bryans also made the 2006 Indian Wells final but were defeated by Knowles and Nestor 64 64.

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