2009 ATP Tour - LA TENNIS OPEN held on the UCLA Campus
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By Kelly Richards

Los Angeles - It was a true Southern California celebration at the Los Angeles Tennis Open Sunday. Four of the six finalists at the annual UCLA tournament were locals: Sam Querrey from Thousand Oaks, Bob and Mike Bryan from Camarillo and newcomer Carsten Ball from Newport Beach.

After competing as juniors, Querrey and Ball faced off in their first ATP singles final. Ball needed to win three qualifying matches before advancing into the main draw. “I thought of it as a regular old juniors match and just went out to have fun,” he said.

In the first set, there were three breaks. First Querrey, then Ball and then Querrey again. Querrey came out ahead after an amazing exchange at the net in the ninth game. From there the 21-year-old grabbed the first set 6-4. But, Querrey faltered in the second. A lefty, Ball simply served better and took advantage of Sam’s weaker second serves to win 6-3. “I was worried,” said Querrey, “He got a good read on my second serve.”

“I knew Carsten had a huge serve. He’s got weapons. You just can’t break him one game after the next.” Querrey said he took a deep breath and regrouped for the third. “ I didn’t want to lose a third final,” he said referring to his recent two losses in the last two weeks at Newport, Rhode Island and Indianapolis.

“Sam got a break in the third and that gave him confidence,” Ball said. “He had the better serve.” Back to back aces finished off Carsten Ball 6-1.

This is Querrey’s second ATP title and he’ll take home a paycheck of $100,000. Ball, the son of Australian tennis legend Syd Ball, got pushed into a new tax bracket, winning $50,000. But he wasn’t going to spend it all at once. “I’m going to put it into the bank and think about it.”.


Bryan Brothers hold up 5 for 5-time Doubles Champions

Photos by Adam Davis

Mike and Bob Bryan are going to need a bigger sign at the Los Angeles Tennis Open next year. They are officially the "winningest" players at the annual UCLA tournament. A final ace cemented their record fifth title in a second set tiebreaker, 6-4, 7-6. “We’ve never lost a final here,” said Bob. The Bryan brothers have won the most titles in the history of the tournament including singles and doubles.

It wasn’t a walkover for the Bryan brothers. Opponents Benjamin Becker and Frank Moser gave up only one break in the first set and none in the second. However, the German team lost a couple of key points early in the tiebreaker and were just never able to recover. Becker said the Bryans were just “too good.” This is the first time Moser has matched up against the twins and he’s “hoping to get a chance to play them again.”

“They were playing clutch,” Mike said of Moser and Becker. Bob thought they edged ahead when they broke in the first set. “We like to be the frontrunners.”

Disappointed after recent losses in Europe, the twins were especially happy to play close to home. This LA tournament holds special memories. “They gave us our first chance on the tour when we were 16,” said Bob. “We’ll keep coming back until we’re 50.”

Bryans celebrate their victory.

A large contingent of family, friends and neighbors, 80 strong, came from Camarillo in nearby Ventura County, including mother Kathy who they say “gets too nervous” to watch often.

“We have extra focus when we’re playing in front of friends and family. We never get down when they’re rooting for us,” they said. “We like to show them how good we are.”

The 54th title of their career, the twin tennis terrors are working their way up to being the most successful doubles team in tennis history. Currently, the famous Australian duo “the Woodies” Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde hold the record with 61 titles.

Their record fifth win at the Los Angeles Open this week isn’t the only record the Bryan Brothers are making. They’re also making an actual record.

“Let It Rip” is scheduled to be released coinciding with the U.S. Open in New York the end of August.

“It’s mostly fun for us. We’re just hoping the critics don’t rip us to shreds,” said Mike Bryan. The brothers say music is their second passion after tennis.

Mike plays the drums. Bob is on keyboards and bass. And good friend David Baron at vocals, piano and guitar. The dynamic duo of tennis met Baron at one of their charity events and have become fast friends.

The Bryan Brothers say they’d like to play gigs and sell records at tournaments. “We’re having a great time doing it.”

Winning $31,900 in Los Angeles this week will help defray costs for studio fees they are incurring simultaneously. With Baron, the brothers have written six original songs for the album. They sing lead on one and background on the others.

“It’s upbeat, happy music,” describe the Bryans. “They’re tennis oriented songs, but you can take them anyway.”

The highly successful doubles team says they use music to relax between matches on the tour.


The LA Tennis Open Presented by Farmers Insurance has been played every year since 1927, making it the longest-running annual professional sporting event in Los Angeles. Played since 1984 at the LA Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA, the tournament is part of the Olympus US Open Series, the six-week summer tennis season linking 10 ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour events to the US Open that in 2008 drew a record of more than 50 million television viewers. Proceeds from the LA Tennis Open benefit the grassroots programs of the non-profit Southern California Tennis Association (SCTA) and UCLA. The SCTA offers programs, leagues, and tournaments involving 300,000 juniors and 50,000 adults and seniors. Information on tickets and the tournament can be found at www.LATennisOpen.com.



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