Boys tennis: Legacy’s Rosencrans twins may make move to singles

MARK LEFFINGWELL
Legacy’s Dave Rosencrans (left) and his brother Mike finished third at No. 1 doubles at the 5A state tournament but may be forced to play singles this season.

BROOMFIELD — Mike and Dave Rosencrans have heard all the rumblings.

Who are these guys? Why are they so good? Is it fair that they are playing No. 1 doubles and not playing singles?

“Oh yeah, we heard it,” the Legacy twins said in tandem.

The big question surrounding the Rosencrans twins coming into the 2013 season isn’t whether they think a repeat, or even an improvement, on last year’s third-place finish — the best by any Lightning individual or team at the state tournament — but rather will they be able to still play together?

The Colorado High School Activities Association has an ethics rule in place that the coach must have his best player at No. 1 singles and so on down the list to be determined by challenge matches.

“We’ve always played together, doubles is our game,” said Dave Rosencrans on Monday before the team’s first practice.

Said Mike: “There’s a pretty good chance we are going to have to play singles.”

The Lightning and coach Al Godman listened to all the criticism last year, and frankly got tired of it, but understands to insure the integrity of the game that splitting up the twins for the first time in 10 years may have to happen.

“They would love to stay together as a doubles team and go back and contend for the No. 1 spot, because I believe they are legitimately the best doubles team in the state,” Godman said. “We are just going to see how that plays out with the CHSAA rule.”

The Rosencrans brothers, who would love nothing more than to attend the Merchant Marine Academy in New York together and continue their tennis careers, have drawn comparisons to the ATP’s Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike. Also twin brothers, the Bryans have combined to win 15 Grand Slam titles and are the reigning Olympic gold medallists.

But the comparisons generally end with the twins aspect. Dave and Mike don’t watch a lot of tennis on television and thus only catch glimpses of professional tennis’ most dominating duo. Even without tuning in, the Rosencrans brothers still can tell you the quite bit about the Bryans right off the cuff.

“Honestly, you’d be surprised at how little we watch tennis on television,” they said. “We follow it, but we just don’t watch it a lot. We know each other and we know what we are going to do.

“We don’t model our game after them because we just don’t watch it, plus one of them is a righty and the other is a lefty and that switches up their game and where they are.”

The likely move to singles will be quite an adjustment for Dave and Mike, who have both played it, but understandably prefer the more cerebral doubles game. It’s something that neither one of them fears, though, and will gladly take on.

“You have to put more power into it, because doubles is a lot more finesse, strategy, whereas singles is just keep the ball in and hit it hard,” they said together. “We are definitely better doubles players, but we will do what we can to make it back to state and score some points for the team.

“We came in with the attitude that we weren’t going to get our hopes up about playing doubles, because we figured there was a good chance we wouldn’t be playing it. We’ll see where it goes with the challenge matches.”

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