The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 4, 2012

Jeremy Lynn captures USTA National Open singles crown

DENVER — Joplin’s Jeremy Lynn won the 18 singles championship in the USTA National Open on Wednesday morning in the Gates Tennis Center.

Lynn, a senior at Joplin High School, knocked off No. 1 seed Jordan Daigle of Lafayette (La.) 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

“Definitely, this is my biggest thrill in tennis,” Lynn said. “The last three tournaments I didn’t win. They were tough, too, but the competition wasn’t as tough as this one.

“Nicholas (Naumann), whom I beat in the semifinals (7-6 (3), 4-2 (retired injury) may have been the toughest opponent for me this week,” Lynn said.

The second-seeded Naumann, from The Woodlands (Texas), is headed for the University of Texas. Lynn wasn’t seeded but rankings boosted him into the field of 32.

“I just have a lot of confidence,” Lynn said of his success. “I’ve been getting better and better. It isn’t a change in my game. I’m the same person on the court. But I’m mentally more tough.

“My experience in tournaments this summer also had to help,” Lynn said.

Joplin coach Sean McWilliams said he was “anxious” during the morning waiting for Lynn to text him the result.

“I was excited,” McWilliams said. “You could tell Jeremy was excited and fired up. He should have been after such an unbelievable accomplishment.

“Jeremy had had a great summer before this week,” McWilliams said. “He’d had several outstanding tournament finishes. He’d been playing very well.

“He’s been playing every weekend since the (MSHSAA) state tournament,” McWilliams said. “He challenged himself and he continued to work hard.

“He’s a tough, tough opponent for anyone when he has the confidence to go with his game,” McWilliams said.

The 5-foot-11, 155-pound Lynn said his success this summer in the Missouri Valley includes wins against this spring’s Class 2 singles champion Bradford Zitsch of Columbia Rock Bridge and runner-up Dylan Steffens of Rockwood Summit.

Plus, Lynn has defeated Class 1 champion Will Welte of Pembroke Hill and runner-up Michael Rechan of Clayton. The victory against Rechan avenged a loss.

Lynn finished fifth in Class 2 singles for Joplin as a junior. He wasn’t eligible to compete for the Eagles as a sophomore after transferring from Thomas Jefferson after his freshman year.

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