The USTA announced today that eight of America’s top juniors will play in a unique tournament format, competing against some of the country’s top collegiate players in the Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic, September 21-23 at Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena, Calif.
This will mark the third straight year juniors are incorporated into the 12-year-old event, a round-robin style tournament that rewards its winner with a USTA wild card entry into a USTA Pro Circuit event. The tournament will feature eight of America’s premier juniors competing against four players from six NCAA Division I schools, including California, Berkeley, Georgia, Harvard, Illinois, Stanford and Texas.
“We’re excited that another group of our top juniors gets to compete against some very strong collegians in a respected, valuable event,” said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development.
“Collegiate competition is a significant part of the pathway from junior tennis to professional tennis, and letting our juniors compete with college veterans will only benefit their mental and physical development.”
Each school will send four players to compete alongside the eight juniors, and the 32-man field will be split into eight pools featuring three collegians and a junior (See page two for a full list of participants).
Following three matches in pool play, the eight pool winners will compete in the PlayBrave USTA Wild Card Shootout, a single-elimination, 10-point tiebreak tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a USTA-sponsored wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined.
The Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic is the first of three events this fall combining juniors and collegians. Similar tournaments will be held in Portland, Ore., (women’s) and Orlando (men’s) in November, featuring
juniors and collegians yet to be named.
The Classic, which was founded 12 years ago by Cal coach Peter Wright and Meadowood Tennis Director Doug King, will feature junior players for the third consecutive year after being held exclusively for collegians from 2001-09. The 2010 Classic included Jack Sock, who reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, while Cal senior Nick Andrews claimed the 2011 title. This year’s roster of juniors was selected by USTA Player Development based on ATP rankings (if applicable), national junior rankings and results, and a selection of younger players for developmental purposes.
“Bringing the elite juniors and college players together in Napa provides a unique opportunity to help American junior development,” said Wright. “The event was a major success last year and we look forward to another year of high-quality competition.”
This will be the 12th consecutive year the event has been held at Meadowood, with Audi returning as the title sponsor.
USTA and Collegiate Tennis: For the third straight year this fall, the USTA will serve as title sponsor and host of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s indoor tennis center. The USTA will also serve as the title sponsor of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, the USTA/ITA National Collegiate Wheelchair Championships and more than 85 USTA/ITA Regional Tournaments. In all, close to 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships. The USTA also names its Collegiate Team, an elite training program for top American collegiate tennis players that began in 1996 and is funded by the USTA. It is designed to provide college players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment during the year. Current pros who were members of prior USTA Summer Collegiate Teams include: James Blake, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, John Isner, Amer Delic, Jesse Levine, Mallory Burdette and Irina Falconi.
Audi Napa Valley Tennis Classic – Roster of Participants
Deiton Baughman (16, Carson, Calif.)
Robbie Bellamy (17, Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
Gage Brymer (17, Irvine, Calif.)
Henry Craig (17, Murietta, Calif.)
Joseph DiGiulio (17, Lakewood, Calif.)
TJ Pura (17, Pacific Palisades, Calif.)
Jack Murray (17, Beverly Hills, Mich.)
Konrad Zieba (17, Glenview, Ill.)
University of California, Berkeley
Mads Engsted (FR, Aarhus, Denmark)
Chris Konigsfeldt (SR, Rungsted Kyst, Denmark)
Ben McLachlan (JR, Queenstown, New Zealand)
Riki McLachlan (SR, Queenstown, New Zealand)
Daniel Ho (JR, Rosemead, Calif.)
Matt Kandath (SR, Gansevoort, N.Y.)
John Morrissey (SO, Dublin, Ireland)
Robert Stineman (SO, Winnetka, Ill.)
University of Georgia
Garrett Brasseaux (JR, Mandeville, La.)
Eric Diaz (SO, Athens, Ga.)
Nathan Pasha (SO, Atlanta, Ga.)
Ben Wagland (FR, New South Wales, Australia)
Shaun Chaudhuri (FR, Pleasanton, Calif.)
Casey MacMaster (FR, Fort Collins, Colo.)
Denis Nguyen (FR, Anaheim, Calif.)
Alex Steinroeder (FR, Concord, Mass.)
University of Illinois
Farris Gosea (SO, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom)
Stephen Hoh (SR, Eaglemont, Victoria, Australia)
Tim Kopinski (SO, Palos Hills, Ill.)
Brian Page (FR, Wheaton, Ill.)
University of Texas
Lloyd Glasspool (SO, Birmingham, England)
Soren Hess-Olesen (SO, Aarhus, Denmark)
Sudanwa Sitaram (JR, Coimbatore, India)
Daniel Whitehead (SR, Sugar Land, Texas)
*Participants subject to change.