The ITA National Fall Championships begins today
The GIST: The epic five-day ITA National Fall Championships, aka the capstone of college tennis’ fall singles and doubles season, hits the court in San Diego today. Athletes nationwide battled in the All-American Championships and ITA Regionals all autumn to earn a berth, and now it’s time to face the best of the best.
The women: With half the nation’s Top-10 duos, the gals’ doubles bracket is ferocious. Pepperdine’s top-ranked junior Savannah Broadus and senior Janice Tjen have returned to defend their title, but UNC’s No. 2 pair sophomore Reese Brantmeier and senior Elizabeth Scotty, who fell to their own teammates in May’s NCAA doubles final, are in hot pursuit.
- On the singles court, No. 3 Miami junior Alexa Noel is the field’s top-ranked player, but she’ll have to go through the aforementioned Brantmeier, ranked No. 5 in singles, and No. 7 South Carolina fifth-year Ayana Akli to hoist any hardware.
The men: The guys’ doubles tourney is also jam-packed with talent, including four Top-10 duos. The draw’s dark horse? Ohio State’s No. 19 pair of fifth-year Robert Cash and senior JJ Tracy. Overlook these reigning All-American titleholders at your own peril: Tracy won last year’s ITA Fall ’ship with then-partner fifth-year Andrew Lutschaunig.
The singles bracket lacks the doubles’ star power — only two Top-10 athletes are attending, and the reigning fall champ and All-American winner will both be MIA — but that leaves a wide-open field for a new star to rise.