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Stanford Tennis Twins To Turn Pro

June 16, 1998

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ Stanford’s twin tennis players, Bob and Mike Bryan, have decided to turn pro after helping their school to its fourth consecutive NCAA men’s team title.

The 20-year-old sophomores plan their first pro appearance at a USTA futures event in Waco, Texas, beginning next Monday.

``I know every time we get a free week, we’ll go back to Stanford and hang out in our fraternity, go watch basketball games _ do the whole deal,″ Bob Bryan said Monday. ``It’s a sad day that we’re leaving. But we feel it’s time. Our games, I feel, are really going to blossom out there.″

Bob Bryan won the NCAA singles title, then the doubles championship with his brother. As a result, they earned wild-card berths to the U.S. Open; Bob in singles and both in doubles.

The Bryans, of Camarillo, Calif., will not go to Wimbledon this year, and plan to pay their dues in less-prestigious tournaments. But they do hope to earn a place on the U.S. Davis Cup team in doubles.

Tom Gullikson, director of coach for the U.S. Player Development program and the U.S. Davis Cup captain, said the twins could make an ``immediate impact″ in doubles and have potential to be ranked in the top 30 in singles.

``A lot of it is just experience,″ Gullikson said. ``I’m looking forward to working with the guys.″

Stanford coach Dick Gould said he wasn’t surprised by the decision, especially after the NCAA tournament last month.

``They were really good,″ Gould said. ``Their dad wouldn’t let any agents talk to them until after the tournament was over, which is great. But then things happened real fast.

``They’ve got a little bit of growing to do. But they’ll be fine.″

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