The Flanagan twins discovered a magical kinship in mixed doubles that goes beyond their bond as twins, thanks to Tennis On Campus.
© Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA
By Sarah Houseknecht, special to USTA.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- University of Delaware twins Bailey and Davis Flanagan share more than a tennis court – the mixed doubles duo have a connection that gives them an edge on the court.
"We have been playing together since we were 3 years old," said Bailey, a psychology and communications double major. "We have only been playing mixed doubles since we started college at Delaware."
The Flanagans were both standout singles players in high school and now love that Tennis On Campus has offered them a chance to "put their heads together." Now juniors, the siblings joined the Delaware club team as freshmen, trying their hand at mixed doubles. The World TeamTennis coed format utilized by Tennis On Campus allows them to work together, as opposed to the high school format in which the boys and girls teams were "very separated."
On the road to this week’s Nationals in Surprise, Ariz., Tennis On Campus played a role in bringing these twins even closer.
"I love the strategy that comes into play in doubles," said Davis, a junior mechanical engineering major. "It’s a totally different game working with a teammate."
"I’ve been converted," added Bailey, referring to her high school singles days. "I used to play volleyball and I really missed that team aspect with individual tennis. Playing TOC, that team atmosphere is really important, especially in mixed doubles."
The Fighting Blue Hens advanced to the Bronze Bracket after Thursday’s pool play. After falling to Baylor and Arizona State, the Flanagans were the deciding factor in a much-needed win over Dartmouth. Late Thursday night, as the Arizona sun was quickly fading, things got heated in the mixed doubles. Bailey and Davis powered through a Dartmouth substitution and held on for the win in a super tie-break – a set played to seven points, only when the opposing teams are tied in total games won at the end of mixed doubles.
"We’ve always been really good friends and it shows on the court," said Davis. "We definitely have a big advantage."