| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

The USTA has announced that 2012 Olympic Men’s Doubles Gold Medal winners and 12-time Grand Slam doubles champions Bob & Mike Bryan will play a unique exhibition to help kick off the USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs, held Dec.14-16 at Life Time Athletic & Tennis at Peachtree Corners in Norcross, Ga.

Five select doubles teams from Georgia, to be chosen from the state’s top players, from juniors to teaching professionals, will each take on the Bryan Brothers in a first-to-four-games exhibition match in the “Battle of Georgia.” The exhibition will take place on Friday, Dec. 14, the opening day of the fourth USTA Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs at Life Time, formerly known as the Racquet Club of the South, a USTA Certified Regional Training Center.

Sixteen talented players, eight men and eight women to be announced at a later date, will compete in the wild card playoffs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with each champion earning a singles main draw wild card into the 2013 Australian Open. The USTA secured the opportunity through a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia, where the two national tennis federations exchanged wild cards for the 2012 U.S. Open and 2013 Australian Open.

Madison Keys, at 16 years old, and Jesse Levine won last year’s events, while current Top 100 players Ryan Harrison and Lauren Davis are among previous champions. Last year’s Australian Open Wild Card Playoffs also included Jack Sock and Steve Johnson, who each advanced to the third round of the 2012 US Open, along with Top 100 player Coco Vandeweghe and local favorite Taylor Townsend, currently the top-ranked junior in the world.