Matt Mitchell

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For the American football coach and former player, see Matt Mitchell (American football).

Matt Mitchell born March 16, 1957 is a former American professional tennis player who played from 1979-1987.

Mitchell who was born in Berkeley, California. As a junior, he was the number one player in his age group in Northern California every second year from the 10s through the 16s. He had four National Junior Titles: National 12-and-under Hardcourt Championships in doubles with Jeff Robinson (Burlingame, California); National 14-and-under Hardcourt Championships in singles where he defeated Perry Wright, (Burlingame, California); National 16-and-under Hardcourt Championships in singles where he defeated Walter Redondo (Burlingame, California); and, the National 16-and-under Hardcourt Championships in doubles with Nial Brash (Kalamazoo, Michigan).

In 1974 that Matt Mitchell was recruited by Coach Dick Gould of Stanford University where Mitchell signed his letter of intent in 1975. At Stanford University, MItchell became at 3-time All-American where he achieved his first All-American honors when he beat the two-sport All-American John Lucas from the University of Maryland in the round of 32 at the NCAA Championships in Corpus Christi, Texas. That was the last year of the old 128 single-elimination Singles and Doubles tournament where schools sent only four of their best players to the tournament to compete in the draw.

In 1977 the NCAA Tournament was radically redesigned into two events in an eight day tournament: the first four days, the National Team Championships were played where the top 16 teams in the country played for the National Championship in a single-elimination tournament—like they do in College Basketball with March Madness—to determine the best team in the country; and the second four day tournament was the National Singles and Doubles tournament where the best players in their respective conferences played a single-elimination tournament to determine the best Singles player and Doubles team in the country.

That year, in 1977 Mitchell along with Bill Maze, Perry Wright, John Rast, Jim Hodges, Lloyd Bourne and Peter Rennert won the first ever Full Squad NCAA National Team Championships where each team sent their best 6 singles players and best 3 doubles teams to compete in this new single-elimination tournament. Then the following morning in the next four days after Stanford University won the National Team Championships, Mitchell, who was seeded first in the singles event, beat John Bennett of Brigham Young University, John Austin of UCLA, Ben McKown of Trinity College, Bruce Nichols of UCLA, Chris Lewis of USC, and in the final, Tony Graham of UCLA in the best of five set final to win the NCAA Singles Title.

In 1979 Mitchell, in his first year as a professional player was nominated as Rookie of the Year after he was ranked the second highest rookie, behind Vince Van Patten. Mitchell's greatest success in singles came at the Black and Decker Championships, in Melbourne, Australia in 1984, where he beat Eliot Teltscher who was eight in the world, and Pat Cash who was ten in the world to win the tournament. That single event catapulted Mitchell's ranking from 160 in the world to 53.

Mitchell's greatest success as a professional, though, came as a doubles player, winning seven tournaments in doubles between 1980 and 1985, highlighted by winning the ATP Player's Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio with Francisco Gonzalez, and, while partnering with Kevin Curren former All-American from University of Texas at Austin in 1986, they lost in the semi-finals of the US Open Championships to Mats Wilander and Joakim Nyström of Sweden in a thrilling five-set match, 7-6 in the fifth. Mitchell's highest doubles ranking as a professional was 30 in the world.

In 2006, Mitchell created a website to document his career. Then in 2010, he became a Co-host on SiriusXM's "Matchpoint[disambiguation needed]" along with Andrew Bogush talking all things tennis. After the 15-week run, Mitchell launched his 'social media' campaign on Facebook called Classic Tennis, YouTube 1classictennis1, Twitter @classictennis. The aim is to try to bring back more fans to the game of tennis including an introduction for new players explaining the point of the game; technical training from grips to strategy; and, his most recent addition is a blog on WordPress called Classic Tennis.

His aim is devoting years of all his training in tennis from the greatest coaches (and players) who have mentored him over his forty-eight years in the game.

In 2006, Mitchell was inducted into the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Men's Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame where he dedicated the fortunate success in his career to his parents, his brother, his 1977 National Team and to the five coaches who influenced him the most: Nick Carter, Neil George, Rich Anderson, Dick Gould and the late Harry Hopman. [1]

External links[edit]

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  • [5] Intercollegiate Tennis Association Hall of Fame - Class of 2006