Oliver Crawford had redemption on his mind this past weekend.
The fall season for the UF women’s tennis team ended on the sweet note of victory.
He watched Jack Findel-Hawkins sweep his teammate Sam Riffice in the first round at the USA F28 Futures in October. Crawford matched up with Great Britain’s Findel-Hawkins in the final singles round at the Master’U BNP Paribas Collegiate Tournament in Grenoble, France, six weeks later.
Crawford took the first set 6-3, but Findel-Hawkins forced a third and final set when he won the second set in a tiebreaker, 6-7, to tie it up.
Boise State coach Greg Patton praised Crawford’s athleticism in the bout and spoke highly of Findel-Hawkins “sonic boom” serves.
Crawford bested Findel-Hawkins in the last set 7-6 in a match that saw two of the best young tennis players in the world go at it.
“That was one of the more exhilarating matches I’ve played, to be honest,” Crawford said.
Crawford avenged Riffice’s loss with the win and helped to reclaim the Master’U Collegiate Team Competition Title for the United States.
“That was probably one of the better moments I’ve had on a tennis court,” Crawford said. “Me clinching my match and then managing to bring the title back home against the defending champs was pretty cool.”
Crawford swept his first two matches against Seppe Cuypers of Belgium (6-4,-6-1) and Ireland’s Dan Moloney (6-1, 6-4) to set up the final against Findel-Hawkins.
The other members on the men’s roster representing Team USA were Brandon Holt of USC and Georgia’s Emil Reinberg, an SEC rival for Crawford. Jada Hart of UCLA, Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine and Duke’s Maria Mateas represented the women. Patton coached the men while Berkeley’s Amanda Augustus coached the women’s team.
The six athletes representing Team USA, who ultimately claimed the country’s eighth title in ten years, were selected by the UTSA Player Development staff as well as the Master’U coaching staff.
“It is really cool to be considered one of the top players and I owe a lot of that to the people here,” Crawford said.
Crawford’s victorious trip to Europe came on the heels of a successful fall season that saw him claim the singles titles at the USA F28 Futures and the UVA Masters.
The spring season kicks off at home for Crawford and the Florida Gators on Jan. 26 against William & Mary.
Follow Kyle Wood on Twitter @Kkylewood and contact him at [email protected].