The United States had won the Master'U BNP Paribas for six straight years, and seven of the last eight, but Great Britain put an end to that streak with a 4-2 upset win last Sunday. The US came back from a 2-1 deficit in wins over France and Germany but it couldn't do it a third time against Great Britain. UCLA sophomore Ena Shibahara put Team USA in front 1-0 after coming back from 3-0 down in the third set to win 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 but recent North Florida graduate Jack Findel-Hawkins tied it up after defeating UCLA senior Martin Redlicki 6-4, 6-4. Pepperdine sophomore Ashley Lahey fell 7-6, 7-6 but it looked like USC sophomore Brandon Holt would tie it up when he served for the match up 6-5 (40/0) in the third. However Holt would be unable to close it out and would fall 7-6(3) to GB's Jonny O'Mara. Shibahara and Lahey trimmed the deficit to 3-2 with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 win in doubles but Redlicki and Holt fell 6-4, 6-3 to Findel-Hawkins and O'Mara to give Great Britain its first-ever Master'U championship. Former Texas Longhorn Pippa Horn was also a member of Team Great Britain. 

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The 12th annual Master'U BNP Paribas is set to begin in France with several current and former US college players set to participate in the eight-team event that Team USA has dominated since 2011. Team USA will be represented by UCLA's Martin Redlicki and Ena Shibahara, USC's Brandon Holt, Pepperdine's Ashley Lahey, Florida's Alfredo Perez, and North Carolina's Alle Sanford. Other players with US college tennis ties are Michael Geerts (Arizona State Sr/Belgium), Louis Cant (Mississippi State '12/Belgium), Jane Fennelly (Notre Dame '17/Ireland), Pippa Horn (Texas '15/Great Britain), and Jack Findel-Hawkins (North Florida '17/Great Britain). The eight countries participating are the United State, France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, China, Russia, and Ireland. Live scoring will be available at this link and there is a tournament program here though most of it is in French. Boise State head coach Greg Patton is writing a blog for so you can check out his Thursday post at this link.

First-Round Pairings:
[1] USA vs. France
[4] Germany vs. Belgium
[3] Great Britain vs. Ireland
[2] Russia vs. China

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The 61st Annual Southern California Intercollegiate Championships came to a close on Monday with Azusa Pacific's Oliver Frank claiming the singles title after a straight set win over USC's Brandon Holt. The 32-player singles draw was comprised of 29 players from D1 schools and 3 from D2 schools which made Frank's run to the title that much more unlikely. Frank started off the tournament with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 win over UC Davis's David Goulak and then he came from behind to defeat USC's Jake DeVine 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. In the quarterfinals Frank defeated USC's Laurens Verboven 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 and in the semifinals he knocked out USC's Logan Smith 6-1, 1-6, 6-0. In today's final Frank broke Holt in the eighth game of the match to go up 5-3 and then served out the opening set to take it 6-3. In the second set Frank broke Holt in the fifth game to go in front 3-2 and he held on from there to win it 6-3, 6-4. 

"This tournament win means a lot to me. To play against NCAA Division I level players and win is special. The competition here was just a different level. You have to be focused and concentrate more on all the details," Frank said via APU's recap. "I was able to get the momentum early and keep it throughout the tournament. To play as an underdog here was good for my game. I was just able to play my game point-by-point."

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Team USA came to France seeking to win a sixth straight Master'U BNP Paribas and that's exactly what they did after defeating Russia 4-1. North Carolina senior Hayley Carter kicked off the day with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Alena Tarasova but Russia countered with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 win by Vladimir Korolev (13.44) over Northwestern senior Strong Kirchheimer (14.14). Ohio State sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo (12.55) put Team USA back in front with a 7-6(2), 7-5 win over Viktoria Kamenskaya (WTA 190/12.60) and then Georgia Tech junior Chris Eubanks (14.45) made it 3-1 with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Ivan Davydov (13.44). Hayley Carter and UCLA freshman Ena Shibahara clinched the title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Frolova and Kamenskaya. Team USA has now won the event seven times in the last eight years.

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Typically when you double fault 15 times in a match your name ends up in the loss column but on Saturday in Waco the guy that had a tougher time on his serve came out on top. Recent Virginia graduate Ryan Shane and recent Illinois graduate Jared Hiltzik went toe-to-toe for just over two hours and when the dust cleared Shane had won his second career pro singles title with a come from behind three-set win. Hiltzik rolled through the first set in 30 minutes after breaking Shane's 1-1 and 2-4 service games and then in the second set Hiltzik broke in a two-deuce game to take a 3-2 lead. Shane would immediately break back from 15/40 to even it at 3-3 but a few games later Hiltzik broke again to go up 6-5. Hiltzik would be unable to serve it out as Shane broke from 15/40 to send it a tiebreak. 

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The singles final is all set in Waco and it'll be a pair of recent college graduates meeting as Jared Hiltzik squares off against Ryan Shane. Hiltzik (14.57) dropped the opening set 6-1 to recent Tulane graduate Dominik Koepfe (14.31) but the recent Illinois graduate was able to turn the tide in the second and third sets. Hiltzik came back from 0/40 down to hold for 2-1 in the second and fought off another break point to hold for 4-3. Hiltzik then converted his only break point opportunity of the set when he broke Koepfer from 30/40 to go ahead 5-3 and then he served out the set from 40/15 to take it 6-3. In the third set Hiltzik got a huge hold for 3-3 after he went down 0/40 and then a few games later he broke Koepfer from 15/40 to go ahead 5-4. Hiltzik served it out from 40/30 to get the win 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2 hours and 14 minutes. 

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Friday, 02 December 2016 07:53

Hiltzik, Koepfer, & Shane into semis in Waco

Three of the four semifinalists in Waco just finished up their college eligibility in May but they felt right at home on Thursday on the indoor courts at Baylor University in the $25K USA F39 Futures. Ryan Shane, who won the 2015 NCAA Singles Championship on these same indoor courts, advanced to his first semifinal since Tallahassee last December after defeating the second seed Tim Van Rijthoven in straight sets. Shane started off the match by fighting off four break points and holding in a seven-deuce game (won't see that in college tennis) and then followed that up by breaking for an early 2-0 lead. Van Rijthoven came back and took five of the next six games but Shane held and then broke for 5-5 after Van Rijthoven had three set points up 40/0. Shane held for 6-5 and then went up 0/40 on Van Rijthoven's serve but he couldn't get the break and off to a tiebreak it went.

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The USTA announced the six-member team that will represent the United States in the 11th annual Master'U BNP Paribas International Collegiate Team Competition which will take place from December 1st - 4th in Marcq-en-Baroeul, France. The team will be comprised of North Carolina senior Hayley Carter, Ohio State sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo, UCLA freshman Ena Shibahara, Georgia Tech junior Chris Eubanks, Stanford junior Tom Fawcett, and Northwestern senior Strong Kirchheimer and will be coached by Boise State men's head coach Greg Patton. Team USA has won the World Team Tennis style event five years in a row and six times in the event's 10-year history. The other seven countries participating are Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, and Russia.  Here was a brief recap I did of last year's final which was a 4-1 win over France. 

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Team USA won the Master'U BNP Paribas for the 5th year in a row and the 6th time in the last 7 years after Florida's Brooke Austin and Cal's Maegan Manasse sealed the title with a 7-5, 6-1 win over France's Clemence Fayol and Alice Bacquie. Virginia's Danielle Collins won her singles match 6-4, 6-3, Stanford's Tom Fawcett won 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, and UCLA's Mackenzie McDonald won 7-6, 6-1. Cal's Manasse lost 6-2, 6-2 while Georgia's Austin Smith was set to play in doubles but the remaining matches were called off due to the clinch.

In the 10 years of the event the USA has won it 6 times (2009, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15), France 3 times (2006, 07, 10), and Russia won it once in 2008.

The team was coached by Boise State men's head coach Greg Patton and Cal women's coach Amanda Augustus.

It was a great weekend on the Pro Tour for several former collegiate players as Peter Kobelt, Lloyd Glasspool, Connor Smith, Daniel Nguyen, and Marcelo Arevalo each won Futures titles.  

#445 Peter Kobelt (Ohio State '14) won his first career pro singles title, in his 7th finals appearance, by banging out 20 aces in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over #474 Sam Barry at the $10K Tel Aviv, Israel F17 Future (Hard). Kobelt broke Barry from 15-40 to go up 4-3 in the 3rd and then held serve 2 more times to clinch it.  Kobelt will move inside the top 400 for the first time when these 18 points are added in next week.

#556 Lloyd Glasspool (Texas '15) won 23 of 24 points on his second serve (96%) in route to winning his second career pro singles title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over #355 Roberto Ortega-Olmedo at the $10K El Kantaoui, Tunesia F34 Future (Hard). Glasspool broke Ortega-Olmedo from 15-40 to go up 5-4 in the 2nd and then he held his serve to close it out. Glasspool picks up 18 points for the title and when these points are added in next week he will break the top 500 for the first time in his young career.

#238 Connor Smith (Ohio State '13) won his 4th career singles title, and 1st this year, with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over #449 Kento Takeuchi in the finals of the $15K Bangkok, Thailand F9 Future (Hard). Smith will move up about 10 spots when these points are added in which will get him a little closer to his career high singles ranking of 200.

#243 Daniel Nguyen (USC '12) won his 8th career pro singles title and 2nd this year with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over the defending NCAA singles champ #904 Ryan Shane (Virginia Sr) in the finals of the $15K Tallahassee (FL) USA F35 Future (Hard). Neither player had much success when it came to 2nd serves with Nguyen winning 46% of his 2nd serve points while Shane only won 26%.

#321 Marcelo Arevalo (Tulsa '11) won his 9th career pro singles title when #525 Christopher Diaz-Figueroa retired before the finals of the $10K San Pedro Sula, Honduras F1 Future (Hard). Arevalo has now won 14 of his last 15 after winning last week at the Guatemala F2 and making the finals of the El Salvador F2 the week prior. Arevalo's previous career high was 280 and when these points are added in he'll be extremely close to breaking that number.

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