2017 Bathurst Cup Recap – Paris, France
by Danny McBride
In the waning days of April, Le Club du Jeu de Paume de Paris, near Paris’ famed Arc de Triomphe, hosted the biennial Bathurst Cup, which welcomed top amateurs from France, Great Britain, Australia, and the United States in a 6-day “tour de tennis.” The 2017 U.S. contingent, comprised of Patrick Winthrop (Newport), Jon Crowell (Philadelphia) and Danny McBride (Washington), arrived as underdogs, but remained hopeful and focused, proudly representing the red, white and blue in the sport they love.
After three days of preparation on the storied and bouncy court, the players, as well as all the officials who made it possible, participated in an opening ceremony, which included singing each country’s national anthem and drawing the first round match-ups: The host nation would face the odds-on favorites and returning champions, Australia, and the U.S. would square off against their friends from across the pond, Great Britain, allowing the two nations to resume their special relationship in a courting fashion.
The first match saw Crowell take on Jamie Douglas. Crowell came out of the gates full of confidence, maintaining controlled aggression while limiting errors. Up 40/15 at 5-all, the American seemed poised to shock the throng of onlookers (about ten) by taking the first set. Seemingly unfazed, Douglas roared back and played his best tennis to steal the first set. Douglas seized the momentum from there, taking the match 6-5, 6-1, 6-2. Crowell displayed a strong all-around game as he adapted quickly to the unfamiliar Parisian court.
The second match pitted experienced Bathurst cupper Winthrop against young Ed Kay, a rising star in the court tennis ranks. Throughout the match, Winthrop fought hard, elongating points and forcing Kay to bring his best tennis. Kay prevailed 6-2, 6-0, 6-1; his precise play led the U.S. to dub the young phenom “Winning Gallery,” as he seemingly could find the triumphant opening from anywhere on the court.
In the make-or-break doubles match, the U.S. pairing of Winthrop and McBride became frustrated by their uncanny ability to not convert game points. Despite many opportunities, the British pairing of Ed Kay and Peter Wright proved too tough, winning the lopsided affair 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.
The dead rubbers saw McBride versus Douglas and Crowell versus Kay. McBride came back strong after a slow start, pushing Douglas to 5-all in the second set, but bowed out on a series of unforced errors. Crowell again acquitted himself well, winning the first set 6-5 against the scratch-level Kay. Kay ultimately found his range, winning sets two and three at 6-3.
In the third-place matchup, Winthrop faced French star Mathieu Sarlangue and Crowell took on New York’s own Nicolas Victoir. Winthrop played great tennis against Sarlangue. Games were tight and points were long; however, Sarlangue’s consistency and court familiarity made the difference, with the Frenchman prevailing 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Crowell and Victoir played in what was likely the Bathurst Cup’s tallest match in history. Crowell again came out of the gates blistering, taking the first set 6-2 over a seemingly laboring Victoir, who was coming off a 6/5 fifth set victory over Australia’s Pete Boyles. With the first set behind him, Victoir caught a second wind, taking the next three sets 6-2, 6-5, 6-4 to win the match.
Ultimately, France took the third place match-up, with Sarlangue and Victoir beating Winthrop and Crowell. In the dead rubbers, Crowell dominated an overmatched Julien Bay, and McBride saved his worst for last against Michel Brunoro.
The event ended in marvelous fashion with Australia’s amateur superstar Kieran Booth taking down Ed Kay in four sets to push Australia to yet another Bathurst Cup victory, 3-2 over Great Britain. Although wishing a better outcome, the Americans relished their Parisian experience, showing well against the world’s best and making new friends of their foes. A big thanks to the French contingent and pro Rod McNaughton for serving as such great hosts throughout. Here’s to the 2019 Bathurst Cup in the U.S.A.!
Bathurst Cup 2017 Results
GB vs USA
- Jamie Douglas beat Jon Crowel 6/5 6/1 6/2 (GB 1 USA 0)
- Ed Kay beat Pat Winthrop 6/2 6/0 6/1 (GB 2 USA 0)
- Peter Wright & Ed Kay beat Dan McBride & Pat Wintrop 6/0 6/3 6/2 (GB 3 USA 0)
- Jamie Douglas v Dan McBride
- Ed Kay v Jon Crowell
Australia vs France
- Kieran Booth beat Matthieu Sarlangue 6/3 6/5 3/6 6/0 (Australia 1 France 0)
- Pete Boyles lost to Nicolas Victoir 2/6 2/6 6/3 6/3 5/6 (Australia 1 France 1)
- Kieran Booth & Bret Richardson beat Matthieu Sarlangue & Nicolas Victoir 6/4 6/0 6/1 (Australia 2 France 1)
FINAL: Australia beat GB 3-2
- Ed Kay beat Pete Boyles 6/5 6/2 6/0 (GB 1 Australia 0)
- Jamie Douglas lost to Kieran Booth 2/6 4/6 4/6 (GB 1 Australia 1)
- Ed Kay & Peter Wright lost to Kieran Booth & Bret Richardson 0/6 6/0 5/6 2/6 (GB 1 Australia 2)
- Jamie Douglas beat Pete Bowles 6/3 6/1 6/2 (GB 2 Australia 2)
- Ed Kay lost to Kieran Booth 6/4 4/6 3/6 1/6 (GB 2 Australia 3)
3/4: France beat USA 4-1
- Pat Winthrop lost to Matthieu Sarlangue 6-3 6-2 6-4 (France 1 USA 0)
- Jon Crowell lost to Nicolas Victoir 2-6 6-2 6-5 6-4 (France 2 USA 0)
- Pat Winthrop & Jon Crowell lost to Matthieu Sarlangue & Nicolas Victoir 6/4 6/4 6/3 (France 3 USA 0)
- Jon Crowell beat Julien Bey 6-2 6-2 (France 3 USA 1)
- Danny McBride lost to Michel Brunoro 6-1 6-1 (France 4 USA 1)
Photos courtesy of Barney Tanfield