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Inner-city Park Kids See Double at Tennis Clinic

April 4, 2007 03:52 PM

MIAMI, March 27, 2007 - Two dozen young tennis players from Miami’s inner-city lit up Monday when the worlds No. 2 ranked doubles team, twins Mike and Bob Bryan, walked on court to hit balls with them during a clinic at the Sony Ericsson Open.

“Whoa, they’re good,” said Mike Bryan, as balls whizzed past him and brother Bob during a rally.

The Bryan brothers, age 28, were joined by long-time doubles rivals Fred Fiery Stolle, 68, and Owen Davidson, 63, both accomplished Grand Slam champions and Australia natives, and ATP newcomers Ryan Sweeting and Brendan Evans, both 20 and living in Florida, at a practice court on the tournament grounds.

Together they offered tips while hitting and serving balls with kids age 10 to 16 from inner-city Miami tennis programs at Moore Park, Bryan Park in Little Havana and Arcola Lakes. The Greater Miami Tennis & Education Foundation runs the programs in six parks and seven public schools.

“The clinic was wonderful. The kids had a great time and the pros looked like they were having fun, too. This is really what motivates the kids to keep playing tennis,” said Marine Carrington, program director for the Greater Miami Tennis & Education Foundation.

With an eye out for future talent, Nick Bollettieri, 75, the world’s most famous tennis coach, circled the young players, exerting them to make the most of their lives.

“It’s what you make of daily activities that are important, including tennis. Take advantage of all you’ve got and make sure you keep playing tennis to get into college,” Bollettieri said to the young players gathered around him at the clinic sponsored by Mercedes-Benz.

Carrington agreed with Bollettieri, saying that tennis combined with classroom success is a springboard to higher education, a formula promoted by the foundation.

“It’s a big treat for the kids to be invited to the Sony Ericsson Open. Its their reward for going every day to the tennis courts and working hard to get better. We are always appreciative of the Mercedes-Benz sponsorship and the pros who give back to our kids,” Carrington said.

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