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 USTA.com 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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Saturday was another great day for doubles with former college players winning six pro titles. Robert Lindstedt (Pepperdine '98) won a pro doubles title for the 20th year in a row as he and his doubles partner Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi won the ATP 250 Antalya (Turkey) Open with a 7-5, 4-1 retirement win over Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic. Lindstedt has won 47 career titles with the last 21 of those coming at the ATP level. His biggest tournament win came in 2014 when he and Lukasz Kubot won the Australian Open plus Lindstedt has also been a runner-up at Wimbledon three times. Lindstedt is currently ranked No. 44 in the latest ATP doubles rankings however he reached No. 3 back in 2013. 

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What a tremendous week for players with college tennis ties with 46 winning or finishing as runner-up at pro tournaments across the globe. Georgia Tech rising senior Chris Eubanks won his first career pro title with a long three-set win over 2012 Georgia Tech graduate Kevin King. King spent this past season as a volunteer coach at Georgia Tech while rehabbing an injury and he and Eubanks also played doubles this week with the pair finishing as runner-up to USC's Brandon Holt and Riley Smith. In Sunday's final at the USA F17 Futures in Winston-Salem, Eubanks came back from a 2-0 first set deficit to take the set 7-5 but King bounced back in the second set and took it 6-2. There are were no breaks of serve in the third set with the only break opportunity coming when King served 3-4 (ad-out). King went up a mini-break to start the third set tiebreak but he wouldn't lead again as Eubanks led 4-2 at the changeover and ended up taking it 8-6. 

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Five years ago John Peers was finishing out his collegiate career at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and on Sunday he and his doubles partner Henri Kontinen won the year-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. The match didn't exactly start off on the right foot for the Peers/Kontinen team after they dropped the opening set to Rajeev Ram (Illinois '03*) and Raven Klaasen 6-2 however Peers/Kontinen rebounded to take the second set 6-1 to set up a winner take all third set supertiebreak. The server won each of the first 16 points in the tiebreak until Peers/Kontinen earned the mini-break off the Klaasen serve to take a 9-8 lead. Peers closed it out with a service winner to make the final 2-6, 6-1, 10-8. Peers and Kontinen split $455,000 and earned 1500 ATP points while Ram and Klaasen split $245,000 and earned 800 ATP points. 

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Friday, 18 November 2016 22:25

Pro Circuit Friday Recap

Since the fall college season has come to a close I thought I'd take a look at the players with college ties that are in action at Pro Circuit events across the planet. We'll start in Champaign where Georgia Tech junior Chris Eubanks was playing for a spot in the finals of the JSM Challenger against ATP #141 Henri Laaksonen. After splitting a pair of tiebreaks, Eubanks jumped out to a single-break 3-0 lead in the third set but he'd be unable to close it out as Laaksonen took six of the next seven games to take it 7-6(3), 6-7(6), 6-4. Eubanks definitely showed he belonged after hitting 14 aces, landing 64 percent of his first serves, and winning 33 percent of the points on Laaksonen's serve.

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Michael Mmoh came into this year's USTA Boys 18 National Championships as the top seed and he definitely lived up to the billing. Mmoh only needed about 90 minutes to win the best of five sets final over the No. 7 seed Vasil Kirkov 6-1, 6-2, 6-3. Mmoh only lost 35 games in seven matches and didn't drop a set all week. Colette Lewis has all the quotes from today's winners over at ZooTennis.  

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#474 Mikelis Libietis (Tennessee '15) won his tenth straight match and second straight Futures after defeating #1626 Alberto Brizzi 7-6(6), 7-6(6) in the finals of the $10K Futures in Parnu, Estonia. Libietis broke Brizzi to start the match and then held in a four-deuce game to go ahead 2-0. Brizzi took the next four games to open up a 4-2 lead but Libietis took the next two to even it at 4-4. It stayed on serve until the tiebreak and then Libietis won the pivotal 6-6 point on Brizzi's serve and then took the next point to take the opening set tiebreak 8-6. The second set started with six straight holds then Brizzi broke from 15/40 to go up 4-3. Libietis broke back at love to even it at 4-4 and then it was all holds until the tiebreak. Libietis led 6-3 in the tiebreak but Brizzi fought off three match points (two on his own serve and one on Libietis's serve) to even it at 6-6. Libietis took the last two points to close out the title.

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