The ATP World Tour doubles stars, including Jamie Murray, didn’t see it coming. Not only were the fans who participated in the fifth annual Western & Southern Open Doubles Showdown on Monday enthusiastic in their support of the craft, but they also played some decent tennis.
“They were some good players that came out and showed us up a little bit. We weren’t quite expecting that,” Murray said.
The pros and the recreational players had another good time in Cincinnati, promoting doubles and practising drills and tactics on court together. Wayne Bryan led the activities, and the rec players were alongside the players for much of the two-hour showdown.
“We got to get up close and personal with them so it was very, very awesome,” said Zakiya Kelly, 28, of metro Detroit, who was one of the participants.
Risk & Reward, Nick Kyrgios Style
The pros enjoyed themselves, too. “Some of the best players in the world showing off their skills, so a good day for doubles, and we’ll be back next year,” Mike Bryan said.
Most recreational players are doubles players, Horia Tecau reminded, so it’s important for the pros to reach out to them.
“It’s nice for them to see us all on the same court, doing some drills, some tricks. At this tournament, there are a lot of people coming to watch the doubles matches so it’s nice to give them an experience to be close to us, play some drills with us. It’s nice for them to see the skills that we do on the court, then appreciate it and to come and watch us more,” Tecau said.
Justin Hoyte of FC Cincinnati and ATP World Tour doubles players Murray, Bryan, Tecau, Jean-Julien Rojer, Nikola Mektic, Oliver Marach, Mate Pavic, Artem Sitak, Rajeev Ram, Robert Farah, Bruno Soares, Lukasz Kubot, Marcelo Melo and Juan Sebastian Cabal participated.