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2018 Master'U Blog: U.S. into 10th straight final

Coach Greg Patton | December 01, 2018


As Team USA looks to reclaim the Master’U BNP Paribas title and win the event for the eighth time in the last 10 years, Greg Patton – one of three Team USA coaches and the former Boise State men’s tennis head coach – will be writing a blog for USTA.com during the team’s stay in France. Stay tuned for daily updates, as competition is slated for Nov. 30-Dec. 2. 

 

Tennis friends (especially on the American side of the globe), great news coming your way! 

 

For the 10th straight year, Team USA has reached the finals of the Master’U BNP Paribas Collegiate Team Championships in Grenoble, France. Believe me, this is not an easy task, and to be quite honest, it ranks as a miraculous event.

 

In my 10 years coaching at this prestigious and extraordinary celebration of international tennis, the national teams from the other seven nations have grown much stronger and packed with players on both the ATP and WTA circuits. The competition is incredibly fierce; if this was a surfing contest, the players would be riding tsunami waves. 

 

I shouldn’t be surprised by the success of our American team, for it is comprised of the top American players in Division I tennis. They live in the intense and exciting culture of collegiate team tennis and are blessed by receiving outstanding guidance and coaching by their talented collegiate coaches. They are also experienced to the pressures of playing on a team and for their teammates.   

 

Today, the best and the brightest of the upcoming American stars defeated a talented and competitive Irish team, the finest squad that the Irish have ever brought to Master’U. They were incredibly talented, gritty and energetic, and coached by two of the best coaches in the world, in Garry Cahill and Jaime Pilkington. 

 

Our women’s singles players (Maria Mateas from Duke and Ashley Lahey from Pepperdine) have been playing spectacular tennis this fall. Both were pushed to the limits in three-set matches defined by long rallies that had all the players running miles to cover the array of laser shots from their opponents.

 

Maria was up in the first set, 4-1, when her tenacious Irish opponent (Julie Byrne of Northwestern University) made a run of seven straight games to take a 6-4, 2-0 lead. Many players would have been demoralized, but our Maria maintained her composure and adjusted her game to win six straight games of her own and take the second set, 6-2. Byrne then jumped out to another 2-0 lead in set three, only to have Maria once again put the pedal to the metal and win the third set, 6-3. As the fourth match on, her win clinched the team victory and a spot in the championship.

 

At No. 2 women’s singles, Ashley Lahey (pictured above) also won her second straight match. The mental resilience and physical prowess and discipline of our women is extraordinary. Ashley lost the first set, 5-7, only to turn the tide in the second and third sets with 6-2 and 6-3 wins.

 

For our men, Emil Reinberg was phenomenal with a 6-2, 6-4 victory to start the morning off. Oliver Crawford also displayed some historic and phenomenal play that was just doggone spectacular in his 6-1, 6-4 victory.

 

In doubles action, the USA men’s and women’s combinations won their matches, though we did fall in the final mixed doubles match.

 

We have a big day Sunday, for we play defending international champion Great Britain, who broke our tournament championship streak at six last year. The British are coached here in Grenoble by the internationally-acclaimed Alistair Higham and Barry Scollo, so we know that we will meet a well-prepared team with nuclear-powered energy and passion. 

 

It should be a match for the ages, and I can’t tell you enough how excited our wonderful squad is to be playing for the international cup here in France.

 

After a week of preparation and two days of competition, coaches Amanda Augustus, Garrett Patton and I feel extremely fortunate to have such quality student-athletes representing the USA and American college tennis. They have passion, integrity, fire, intelligence, discipline and that radiant sparkle in both their smiles and tennis strokes. They are champions in every possible aspect. We will need sunglasses, as the future of American tennis is illuminated by a blast of exciting talent coming down the line.

 

Our match starts at 9:30 a.m. in France (3:30 a.m. ET). Our American friends, you will be sleeping but hopefully watching our team playing in your dreams.

 

Go USA!

 

Full results:

USA 6, Ireland 1

 

Singles:

#2 Emil Reinberg (USA) def. Dan O’Neill (IRL), 6-2, 6-4

#2 Ashley Lahey (USA) def. Amy Bowtell (IRL), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3

#1 Oliver Crawford (USA) def. Dan Moloney (IRL), 6-1, 6-4

#1 Maria Mateas (USA) def. Julie Byrne (IRL), 4-6, 6-2, 6-4

 

Doubles:

Men: Brandon Holt / Emil Reinberg (USA) def. Dan O’Neill / Sean McCullagh (IRL), 8-3

Women: Jada Hart / Maria Mateas (USA) def. Amy Bowtell / Sinead Lohan (IRL), 8-1

Mixed: Dan Moloney / Julie Byrne (IRL) def. Brandon Holt / Jada Hart (USA), 8-4

 

Notes:

Matches are listed in the order in which they were played. Doubles matches were played as pro sets after the overall match was decided in singles. For complete tournament results, visit the Master'U website.

 

 

Previous blog posts:

Nov. 30 - Sweet victory over Belgium

Nov. 29 - Draw Ceremony

Nov. 29 - Greetings from France

 

Photo credit: Etienne Jeanneret

 

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