The American team is led, to this Master’U, by a prestigious coach who has coached among the best players in the history of tennis.
What is the common thread between Jim Courrier, Michael Chang, Andy Roddick and Pete Sampras? At one point in their careers, they were mentored by Greg Patton. For three days, he’s in command of the American university team in the final of this Master’U against Russia. “At my age, it’s hard to make the trip here, but I never regret these highlights, savors the one who won 22 of his 23 games in this competition.
The 64-year-old spent 40 years in the role of coach. Still in the academic world. It is however a coincidence that launched his career in coaching. “I was at the University of California in Santa Barbara, my tennis coach wanted to become a teacher,” he recalls. I replaced it for a few weeks. I never wanted to do anything else. A revelation for the man then 24 years old. But more than performance, it is the human aspect that fascinates him.
“To train is something spiritual”
And that is what matters most to him. It is not the future big stars at the top of the world tennis who marked it, but more surprising players. “The passion Sam Querrey, Jim Courier or Steve Johnson was incredible. Passion can illuminate the darkest moments of a story. A real lesson in life. And around the courts, the one who was voted best university coach in the United States in 1987 is still as enthusiastic about the beauty of the sport: “This is the most beautiful thing in the world. In team competitions, players do not play for them, but for others. It’s incredible to have the strength to transcend for someone else. A force, but also a lever. When one of these players is exhausted, the sexagenarian knows how to find the right words to remobilize him. “You may not be able anymore, but do it for us. Magic for him: a state of mind to maintain and relationships to build. “I try to be as close as possible to my players. “A spirit that led Team USA in the final of this tournament.