They’re twins. They play doubles together. They’re tall. They’re friendly.
The comparison is just too easy.
The Johnson brothers might not have the pro resume, but that doesn’t stop Brad and Dale Johnson from hearing over and over again that they remind others of the Bryan brothers. Not a bad thing, considering the 109 tour titles and 16 Grand Slams.
“When Dale and I are playing doubles together, we often wear the same thing on court, so we make it quite difficult for people to tell us apart,” Brad said. “We’re both right handed, so just about the only way to tell us apart on court is to figure out who’s playing on the ad side and who’s playing on the deuce.”
Like the Bryans, they also win a whole lot of matches.
Sophomores at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown, Pa., the Johnsons recently competed in a junior tournament through Princeton Tennis Program, winning the doubles title at Veterans Park last Saturday. Brad was the singles finalist.
Their weekends have been full of tennis in recent years, playing high school tournaments, USTA Junior Tournaments and even USTA Junior Team Tennis.
Players around the state can expect to see even more of them in the coming seasons. And no matter what, they’ll continue to get the Bryan brothers comparison.
That’s OK with them.
“It’s awesome seeing the Bryan Brothers on court and the energy they bring to each and every game,” Brad said. “It’s something to really strive toward.”
Getting to know: Brad and Dale Johnson
On learning to play: “Dale and I were both introduced to the sport when we were six, just hitting with our dad who never played competitively but always loved the sport. After seeing our sister take tennis lessons at a young age, we wanted to play as well and always enjoyed hitting around ourselves, and our parents really supported us developing our tennis games. It wasn’t until the past three years that we got into playing junior tournaments and got serious about tennis. Before, it was always swimming as our first sport. We found our love for the game in 8th grade, which was when we started playing tournaments.”
Best tennis experience: “Our best experience as juniors was going to states as doubles partners. It was an awesome experience going out to Hershey and competing with the best in the state.”
Favorite player: Ken Nishikori
Comparison with the Bryans: “Whenever we mention to people that we play doubles together, they always talk about the amazing twin doubles players, the Bryan brothers. They’re an awesome team to look up to as such great players and all around people. We were fortunate enough to meet them two years ago and watch them play recently at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C.”
The Johnsons are two of many junior players competing in both high school and USTA play. For more information on junior competition in Middle States, visit the Middle States junior competition website.