Sept. 27, 2013
ATHENS-----Four members of the Georgia men’s tennis team will compete in the ITA All-American Championships to be played at the University of Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
The pre-qualifying rounds will be played Saturday and Sunday, followed by the qualifying draw Sept. 30-Oct. 2. A field of 64 singles players and 32 doubles teams will then compete in the main draw Oct. 3-6.
Hernus Pieters and Austin Smith will open play in the qualifying draw, while Nathan Pasha and Ben Wagland will play in the main draw. In doubles, second-ranked Pieters and Wagland earned spots in the main draw.
This is the ninth straight year that the event has been played in Tulsa, which is the site of the Bulldogs’ last NCAA team title in 2008.
“We have great representation this year at the All-American Championships,” head coach Manuel Diaz said. “To be in the main draw and even in the qualifying draw is an accomplishment. Our guys have been training hard and playing well, and we’re looking forward to seeing how they do against the best players in the country.”
This is the third tournament of the fall for Georgia. The Bulldogs swept the singles and doubles titles of the Southern Intercollegiates, and Smith reached the final of the SEC Fall Classic last week in Nashville.
The All-American Championships is the first leg of the collegiate grand slam. Singles quarterfinalists, doubles finalists and consolation champions will receive automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 7-10 in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
The last Bulldog to win the singles title in Tulsa was Travis Helgeson in 2007, which marked the third straight year a Georgia player reached the finals of All-Americans as John Isner won the title in 2005 and advanced to the final again in 2006. Also in 2006, Isner and Luis Flores won the doubles title. In 2011, Wil Spencer reached the singles final, while Ignacio Taboada and Sadio Doumbia reached the doubles semifinals.
ITA All-American Championships Schedule
Pre-Qualifying Singles: Sept. 28-29
Main Draw Doubles: Oct. 3-6 (Hernus Pieters/Ben Wagland)