Illinois Selected to Host 2013 NCAA Tennis Championships

Illinois Selected to Host 2013 NCAA Tennis Championships
National Championships to Be Played at the Khan Outdoor Complex and Atkins Tennis Center

Courtesy: University of Illinois Athletics

URBANA, Ill. - The University of Illinois was selected to host the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships, the NCAA announced on Friday. The championships will be held from May 16-27 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex and the Atkins Tennis Center, marking the first time the UI campus will play host to the event.

"We're very proud to have been chosen to host the 2013 NCAA Men's and Women's Tennis Championships," said Director of Athletics Ron Guenther. "This has been a goal of ours for several years, and a driving force behind the construction of the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex. The Khan Outdoor Complex and the Atkins Tennis Center give us one of the best tennis facilities in the nation, and hosting the championships provides us an opportunity to showcase our facility and engage our community."

The best collegiate tennis teams and student-athletes from across the country will be in Urbana to showcase their talents and compete for national titles. Sixteen men's and women's teams will compete for the first six days of the tournament to claim the team titles, while a 64-singles player bracket and a 32-doubles team bracket will be played out in the final six days of competition for both men and women.

The Illini men's tennis program has reached the NCAA Championships 15 seasons in a row, which includes 10 trips of advancing to at least the Round of 16. The Orange and Blue also have hosted first and second round action of the tournament 12 times since 1997, including the past two seasons at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

"This is a terrific honor for the University of Illinois and our men's and women's tennis programs," said men's coach Brad Dancer. "The tournament has traditionally been played in the south, and this is a great opportunity to show off our great tennis community. I appreciate the vision and leadership of Ron Guenther and generosity of the Khan and Atkins families in helping make this a reality. Knowing our tennis fans, there will be a lot of excitement during the championships. It'll be our job to make sure we qualify to play that week."

The Illinois women's program has made 10 trips to the NCAA Championships since 1996, including three consecutive appearances in the national tournament. The Illini hosted first and second round action at the Atkins Tennis Center in 1996 and at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex in 2009.

"The players and coaches, along with the fans, should be very excited to host the championships here in Champaign-Urbana," women's coach Michelle Dasso said. "We have a great tennis community and I know the support will be wonderful. We have knocked on the door of the championships and I know our players will use this as motivation to advance and compete for an NCAA title."

The 2013 event (May 16-27) will mark the eighth-consecutive year that both the men's and women's titles will be contested in the same location. In 2006, Stanford played host while Georgia did so in 2007 followed by Tulsa in 2008, Texas A&M in 2009 and Georgia again in 2010. The 2011 NCAA Championships will be at Stanford followed by a return trip to Georgia for the 2012 NCAA Championships.

The NCAA has recognized a national champion in men's tennis every year since 1946. It has done so in tournament format since 1977. The first Women's NCAA Tennis Championships was held in 1982. The tournaments have undergone some changes since their inceptions, including moving from a 16-team field to the current 64-team field in 1999. The first two rounds are held at on-campus sites, followed by the Round of 16 and beyond at a designated NCAA Championship site.
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