BAYSHORE GARDENS -- The path most junior tennis player eye when contemplating a professional career lands in singles competition.
But on Monday night at IMG Academy, twin brothers Mike and Bob Bryan showcased the skills that have earned them the No. 1 ranking in the world for more than a year in a Prince demo event for juniors that stuck around following completion of the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships first day.
"It's a way for kids to develop an all-court game," said Bob Bryan about doubles. "The game has gotten into ... everyone is playing for the baseline. It would be nice to see kids playing more doubles."
The duo demonstrated various drills for the eager junior players in attendance.
That ranged from a couple volley drills, a three-ball drill and playing doubles against a couple younger participants while holding hands with each other, and then with audience members in a human chain.
"We've been doing that one for a lot of years," said Mike Bryan about doing the human chain demonstration. "But it always seems to go over. They like it."
It's the second straight year that Prince put together the show, following last year's exhibition match between Xavier Malisse and John Isner.
Unlike that match, the Bryan brothers' appearance was more of an educational aspect to tennis with the different things that they did.
And one local junior, Bradenton's Whitney Osuigwe, received quite the thrill when she played a brief doubles game against the twins and rocketed a winner that netted her an autographed ball.
"It was cool to play the No. 1 doubles team in the world," Osuigwe said.
It capped an interesting first day of the Eddie Herr tournament, which witnessed a big upset in the boys 18s.
Top-seeded Alexander Zverev, who had a successful run to the finals of the Futures event held on the clay courts in 2012, was ousted in the first round in the Herr by 16-year-old Sameer Kumar.
Zverev, the International Tennis Federation's No. 1 player in the world, fell 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) to Kumar.
One other highlight came from IMG student Sany Gawande in the girls 12s.
Gawande won the USTA Nationals Open singles title in the 12s in Augusta, Ga., on Sunday before getting back to Bradenton on Monday to win her first-round match against Canada's Oleksandra Gorchanyuk 6-3, 7-6 (10).
The tournament resumes with additional first-round matches Tuesday at IMG and is open to the public at no charge for admission. Parking is $5 at Bayshore High.