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Game, set, match! Team Great Britain aces produce victory in Lille 04/12/2017

Last weekend Team Great Britain’s University Tennis Team descended on the French city of Lille for the biggest student team tennis tournament on the planet, the Master ‘U BNP Paribas 2017. The team, comprised of six students from three universities, rallied together to produce the biggest upset in recent tournament history. Having won the event for the last six consecutive years, Team USA entered Sunday’s final confident, but proved too weak for Britain’s aces.

Having claimed bronze in the event in 2016, and off the back of four medals in the past two cycles of World University Games, Team Great Britain started dominantly, sweeping aside Ireland in the opening day of this year’s tournament, 6-1, and smashing China 7-0 in the following stage. It was Sunday’s final, however, that the progress of university tennis in the UK really began to show, where our students achieved a 4-2 win over the USA.

Following the historic triumph, Team Bath Director of Tennis and joint team captain, Barry Scollo, commented: “This is an incredibly proud moment for university tennis in this country. I have personally been involved in this tournament for the past six years and to see us progress from finishing seventh and eighth to winning gold against the country with the strongest collegiate tennis system in the world is an incredible achievement“.

In equal excitement, joint captain Alistair Higham, Universities Manager at the Tennis Foundation, who also followed the team to Taipei for the World University Games in Chinese Taipei this year, said:  "It was an incredible day yesterday with the whole team contributing to a magnificent victory. Defeating the USA team with the best of the US College system, including former US Open [Junior] Champion and their No.1 ranked girl and No.1 ranked boy was very special."

Higham continued to commend the personal qualities of our students, hailing the "team spirit" as "second to none", suggesting the mental strength required for such a feat over a dominant USA side was incredible. In addition to strong physical and mental capabilities, Alistair Higham praised the hard work and investment behind the scenes from the Tennis Foundation over the past six years. The Tennis Foundation is Great Britain’s leading tennis charity and offers various levels of support for universities to help students reach their full potential through tennis, magnified through yesterday’s success.

Amongst the team was World University Games alumni, Emma Hurst, of the University of Bath, who said: "The team support and positive energy created a great atmosphere to give us the basis for this win". Meanwhile, Stirling’s Maia Lumsden, full of confidence off the back of her victory at ITF 15K Wirral last month, said: "It's been an incredible few days with some special moments on and off the court. Great to share the win with the team​".

The sense of team spirit was further echoed by fellow WUGS athlete, Jack Findel-Hawkins, who hailed the event "amazing from start to finish" and claimed the experience was "truly special" to be alongside his team mates.

 

Read more about our athletes here 

Read more about the Tennis Foundation here

 

 

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