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San Diego Aviators clinch playoff spot

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It is not very often in professional sports when a team in its first year of competition reaches the playoffs. Yet the San Diego Aviators of Mylan World TeamTennis(WTT) have made that distinction.

The Aviators clinched the number one seed in the Western Conference last night with a 21-15 win over the Springfield Lasers. The victory was highlighted in the last match of the evening when the top ranked doubles team in the world, Mike and Bob Bryan, won 5-0. The Aviators now have an 8-4 overall record with two regular season matches remaining.

Entering into that match the score was very close with the Aviators holding a slim 16-15 lead. The teams had battled all evening in the men’s and women’s singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.

In World TeamTennis the coach of the home team can determine the order of match play. Saving the best of last is a common strategy among coaches in many sports and so it was not surprising Dave Macpherson, Head Coach of the Aviators, chose the men’s doubles with the Bryan Brothers to be the final event.

It was the Bryan Brothers first appearance of the season for the Aviators. They are also scheduled to appear in the final two regular season matches against the Texas Wild on Tuesday, July 22nd and the Austin Aces on Wednesday, July 23rd in San Diego.

Speaking before the match, the Bryan Brothers, who are playing in their 12th season of WTT commented on how much they enjoy the competition.

“We have been closely following the team since the start of the season,” said Bob. “Our goal is come in here and help them win a championship.”

As their twelve years of experience would suggest, they readily embrace the WTT concept.

“We have always loved playing on a team,” noted Mike. “The camaraderie you develop and the fact it is about something other than just yourself.”

The WTT schedule happens after Wimbledon and before the US Open and for some people might create a perception of this being a time frame to take a break and play more “social tennis.”

Not for the Bryan Brothers.

“Everyone playing in these matches is going to be playing in the US Open or trying to qualify for it,” explained Bob. “This is an opportunity to build some momentum leading into the US Open.”

The final two regular season matches begin at 7 pm at the Valley View Casino Center. For more information please visit www.sandiegoaviators.com.

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