2018 Master'U Blog:
Sweet victory over Belgium
Coach Greg Patton | November 30, 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.
These international team tennis championships are definitely not a sprint, but a bone-weary marathon.
Our team started playing our seven matches at 10 a.m., and finally got off the court in Grenoble, France, with the sweetest of 6-1 victories at 7:30 p.m. That was 12.5 hours of intense, hair-raising tennis against a tough Belgian team that had the fate of our American tennis fortunes at stake.
The seven matches are all played on one court; obviously the starting matches set the tone of the entire day. ADVERTISEMENT The beginning four singles matches are, to put it bluntly, extremely critical. To drop the first singles match puts incredible pressure on the players and matches that follow.
Pepperdine sensation Ashley Lahey started us rolling with a spine-tingling slugfest that ended in a 6-4, 6-3 victory and a 1-0 lead for Team USA. Ashley was a singles finalist in the 2018 NCAA individual championships, and the experience has propelled her game to new heights.
Next up was USC star Brandon Holt. Brandon played No. 1 singles for us last year, and that experience has made him a confident veteran of international team play. He was flawless as well, pulling off some spectacular shots in a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
The No. 1 women’s singles flight saw the introduction of a new rising American star Maria Mateas (pictured above), a freshman from Duke University. All I can say is her play and precise shot-making power left me speechless. She covers the tennis court like a lioness. Her first match in international team play was radiant, as she toppled the top Belgium player, 6-4, 6-0.
University of Florida star Oliver Crawford then clinched the team victory with a 6-4, 6-1 victory of his own.
We finished the matches with victories in women’s doubles (Jada Hart from UCLA and Mateas) and mixed doubles (Hart and Emil Reinberg from the University of Georgia). The only match that got away from us was men’s doubles.
We continue our mission to regain the world championship with a semifinal match against Ireland, which upset China in an exciting 4-3 victory.
Thanks for following us, and send our team some Red, White and Blue magic!
USA 6, Belgium 1
#2 Ashley Lahey (USA) def. Chelsea Vanhoutte (BEL), 6-4, 6-3
#2 Brandon Holt (USA) def. Karsten Wuyts (BEL), 6-0, 6-1
#1 Maria Mateas (USA) def. Justine Pysson (BEL), 6-4, 6-0
#1 Oliver Crawford (USA) def. Seppe Cuypers (BEL), 6-4, 6-1
Women: Jada Hart / Maria Mateas (USA) def. Mathilde Devits / Chelsea Vanhoutte (BEL), 8-3
Men: Seppe Cuypers / Jakob Kevelaerts (BEL) def. Oliver Crawford / Emil Reinberg (USA), 8-6
Mixed: Jada Hart / Emil Reinberg (USA) def. Jakob Kevelaerts / Mathilde Devits (BEL), 8-5
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.
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Photo credit: Etienne Jeanneret