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By Randy Walker

@TennisPublisher

 

Orlando, Atlanta and Los Angeles are known as the best tennis cities in the United States, but Greenville, N.C.?

The eastern North Carolina city and the home of East Carolina University is one of the few American cities with more than one resident in the singles draws of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.

Patrick Kypson, the promising 17-year-old USTA national junior champion, is a Greenville native as is 20-year-old up-and-comer Tommy Paul.

“Not bad for a small town,” said Kypson of both being in the main draw of the U.S. Open.

Both players, unfortunately, lost in the opening round of men’s singles on Wednesday within two hours of each other – Kypson falling to Spain’s Adrian Menendez Maceiras 6-4, 7-6 (9), 6-1 and Paul losing to Japan’s Taro Daniel 6-1, 4-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Kypson was born in Durham, N.C. but moved to Greenville when he was just one year old. Although he recently relocated to Raleigh when his cardio-surgeon father changed jobs, he started playing tennis at age seven at Greenville’s Courtside Athletic Club, which is owned by Tommy Paul’s family.

“One of my neighbors had a kid that was my age and he was taking tennis lessons over so I went with him one day,” said Kypson of how he started playing tennis. “I liked it a lot so I kept playing.”

Against Menendez-Maceiras, Kypson led 5-0 in the second-set tiebreaker, but nerves seemed to get the best of him and he lost 11 of the next 15 points to go into a two-sets-to-love deficit.

“I wasn’t playing my best but I had, obviously, a lot chances in the second set,” Kypson said. “That 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker – I kind of let that slip out of my hands. And it’s a bummer because if I won the second set then I would start to play better and maybe the match would be different but I didn’t so that’s how it is today.”

Paul led Daniel two-sets-to-one but faltered in the final two sets, winning only four of the last 16 games. However, the 2015 French Open junior champion had a breakthrough summer where he cracked the top 200 in the ATP rankings, including two quarterfinal finishes at the ATP World Tour events in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Paul elected to turn professional following his junior win at the French Open. Kypson, who still has one more year of American junior tennis, is undecided on whether he will turn professional or go to college next year.

“I still have another year of high school,” said Kypson, who has been taking classes online since the fourth grade. “I’ll just play the Futures (entry-level pro tour) next year. If I can get it to a point where I feel good and I’ll turn pro but if I feel like I need to wait a little bit then I’ll go to school somewhere.”

Both Greenville natives, who have known each other for 10 years, would have played high-profile matches had they won – Kypson would have faced 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro while Paul would have faced top-seed Rafael Nadal.

Patrick Kypson

Patrick Kypson



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About Admin
Randy Walker is a communications and marketing specialist, writer, tennis historian and the managing partner of New Chapter Media – www.NewChapterMedia.com. He was a 12-year veteran of the U.S. Tennis Association’s marketing and communications division where he worked as the press officer for 22 U.S. Davis Cup ties, three Olympic tennis teams and was an integral part of USTA media services team for 14 US Opens. He is the author of the books ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY and THE DAYS OF ROGER FEDERER

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