2019 Master'U Blog:
USA beats Ireland to reach final
Coach Greg patton | November 30, 2019
As Team USA looks to defend its Master’U BNP Paribas title and win the event for the ninth time in the last 11 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 Grenoble, France. Stay tuned for daily updates, as competition is slated for Nov. 29-Dec. 1.
The USA Master'U team made it through a grueling and exhilarating 6-1 semifinal victory over an always talented and determined Irish team to reach our miraculous 11th straight championship match in the BNP Paribas International Collegiate Competition in Grenoble, France. For the third straight year, we will be battling our main rival, Great Britain, who advanced with a semifinal victory over Belgium today.
Our team upheld the legacy of former collegiate players who have used this event as a pathway to success on the professional circuit (such as Stevie Johnson, Danielle Collins, Mackie MacDonald, Evan King, Austin Krajicek, Irina Falconi, Hayley Carter, Noah Rubin, Francesca Di Lorenzo and countless more).ADVERTISEMENT
Alexa Graham (University of North Carolina) kicked off the day with an impressive straight set victory at No. 2 women's singles. The first match always sets the tone for the rest for the day-long team match. Coaches Rance Brown (UCLA) and Garrett Patton (Michigan), along with myself, realize that this first point in the team scoring is critical for a team win and will take a little bit of edgy pressure off of the rest of the team in the following six matches. Alexa's decisive win gave us that one point lead and her USA teammates never looked back.
Alexandre Rotsaert (Stanford) took the victorious baton with a decisive 6-1, 6-1 victory at Men's No. 2 singles. Ireland received a glimmer of hope when the Irish No. 1 women's singles player upset our phenomenal #1 Michaela Gordon (Stanford).
The match of the day, which gave the USA a 3-1 lead into the doubles, came from Aleks Kovacevic (University of Illinois, pictured above), who displayed dazzling artistry in a three-set victory at the No. 1 men's singles position over one of the top players in the tournament from Ireland.
That was all the breathing room we needed, as our women's doubles team (truly are a world class duo in Jada Hart and Alexa Graham) put on a doubles clinic as they clinched our team victory with a 6-1, 6-3 win. Our men's and mixed doubles teams also dominated their matches after our team victory and our ticket to Sunday's championship match was assured.
Team USA is itching to get started tomorrow before a large French crowd here in Grenoble. Tomorrow is big for the USA and me, for it would be our ninth championship in the past 11 years that I have been coaching the squad. In the past 11 years, the Americans now hold a 30-3 record. They were all hard fought, and five of the 10 championships were decided in the final mixed doubles match with a 4-3 score.
We are raring and ready to go for an experience of a lifetime for America's best and brightest collegiate tennis stars. Go USA!
USA 6, Ireland 1
Women's #2 Singles: Alexa Graham (USA) def. Ruth Copas (IRL), 6-0, 6-3
Men's #2 Singles: Alexandre Rotsaert (USA) def. Sean Collins (IRL), 6-1, 6-1
Women's #1 Singles: Julie Byrne (IRL) def. Michaela Gordon (USA), 6-2, 7-6
Men's #1 Singles: Aleks Kovacevic (USA) def. Simon Carr (IRL), 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Women's Doubles: Jada Hart/Alexa Graham (USA) def. Byrne/Copas (IRL) 6-1, 6-3
Men's Doubles: Aleks Kovacevic/Keegan Smith (USA) def. Collins/O'Colligan (IRL), 8-3
Mixed Doubles: Jada Hart/Alexandre Rotsaert (USA) def. O'Colligan/Collins (Ireland), 8-0
For complete results, visit the Master'U website.
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