Breaking down the National Fall tennis Championship
The GIST: Keeping up with the packed college tennis schedule feels like playing ping-pong against Venus and Serena. The ITA governs fall competition, not the NCAA, but these matches are still a BFD for athletes: Unlike NCAA contests where team titles reign supreme, individual glory is the name of fall’s game.
- Why are courts so slammed right now? Because next month’s ITA National Fall Championships are looming, and there are two main ways to qualify: win a regional, or make a deep run at the ITA All-American Championship. Piece of cake, right?
The All-Americans: The main draw of this National Fall Championship warmup begins today. Between the women’s and men’s competitions, each with singles and doubles brackets, there’s been a dizzying number of qualifying matchups over the last four days…but a few standouts have risen above the fray.
- For the single(s) ladies, UNC senior Fiona Crawley is back for more hardware. Her status as the country’s top-ranked player bought her a bye to the main draw, so she’ll take the court for the first time today at 11 a.m. ET. Fear Fiona.
- And on the guys’ court, Texas’ No. 1 Eliot Spizzirri and his partner in
crimedoubles, Harper Cleeve, will square up against a pair from Utah in the main draw’s opening round today at 6 p.m. ET.
The regionals: Regional championships go down across the country throughout October, spreading the Fall Championship stakes far and wide. In the doubles brackets, only the winners qualify for November’s Nationals, but the winners and runners-up in singles brackets will punch a ticket.
- Regionals are prime territory for Cinderella stories. For example, Monday’s finale of the men’s Mountain Regional saw an upset victory for BYU’s doubles team and a history-making dub for Utah State fifth-year Bodin Zarkovic in singles play.