USTA/ITA 2011 National Summer Champions Crowned
Winners earn wild card into All-American Championship main draws
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The 2011 USTA/ITA National Summer Championships came to a close on Tuesday with Illinois junior Stephen Hoh and Stanford junior Mallory Burdette claiming the singles titles. A day earlier in the tournament that took place on the campus of Indiana University, Ohio State’s duo of redshirt sophomore Peter Kobelt and junior Connor Smith took the men’s doubles crown, while the Alabama senior tandem of Taylor Lindsey and Courtney McLane won the women’s doubles draw.
By virtue of winning the USTA/ITA National Summer Championship, Hoh earns a wild card into the main draw of the 2011 ITA Men’s All-American Championship, while doubles winners Kobelt and Smith will be given a wild card into the doubles main draw. Burdette will also be awarded a wild card into the main draw of the 2011 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championship, as will the duo of Lindsey and McLane for the doubles draw.
The ITA Men’s All-American Championship is slated for October 1-9 and will be held in Tulsa, Okla., on the campus of the University of Tulsa. The Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championship is scheduled for October 1-9 as well and will be held at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Hoh breezed through the first couple of rounds, only dropping a total of six games in reaching the Round of 16. There he took on doubles finalist and No. 4 seed Ricky Doverspike of Alabama. Doverspike won the first set 6-4, but Hoh would battle back to take the second 6-1. In the decisive super tiebreak, Hoh was able to emerge victorious 10 points to six. Hoh returned to his stellar form in the quarterfinals and semifinals, beating Florida A&M’s Levan Clark 6-3, 6-4 and Will Kendall of Indiana 6-4, 6-4 to move on to the championship match.
The final match would be a heated battle between Hoh and Texas’ Daniel Whitehead, with Whitehead taking the first set 7-5. Hoh showed his resilience once again, quickly rebounding to win the second set 6-1. A super tiebreak would determine the champion, and it was Hoh managing to claw his way to victory by the slimmest of margins, 10 points to eight. By reaching the finals, Whitehead has earned a wild card in the qualifying draw of the ITA Men’s All-American Championship.
The seeds held true to form in the doubles draw, as the top four seeds all reached the semifinals. Top-seeded Peter Kobelt and Connor Smith faced their toughest challenge in the opening round, fending off Mike Basha and Alex Latosinsky of Detroit-Mercy 9-8 to advance. They took on Matt Kandath from Stanford and John Kelly from Dartmouth next, moving on with an 8-5 victory. Kobelt and Smith handled Brown’s Jacob Laser and Livingston 8-4 in the quarterfinals.
The Buckeye duo met up with the No. 4 seeds Alex Hilliard and Whitehead of Texas in the semifinals, easing their way into the final with an 8-5 triumph. They would not be denied in the championship match, defeating Carlos Taborga and Doverspike of Alabama 8-2 to claim the title. Taborga and Doverspike receive a wild card in the qualifying draw of the ITA Men’s All-American Championship by virtue of reaching the title match.
It was smooth sailing for the top-seeded Burdette. After receiving a bye in the opening round, she defeated Kelsey Dieters of Ohio State 6-2, 6-3. Next up was Illinois’ Marissa Lambropoulos, with Burdette taking the match 6-2, 6-4. She was absolutely dominant in the next two rounds, defeating Tina Tehrani of Georgetown 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and doubles champion Lindsey 6-1, 6-1 in the semifinals.
Burdette faced by far her toughest challenge in the championship match, as Michigan’s Emina Bektas would not go away easily. Burdette fought to take a tough first set 6-4, then stole the second set 7-6 to claim the title. Bektas will be awarded a wild card into the qualifying singles draw at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championship thanks to reaching the final match.
McLane and Lindsey, seeded fifth in the draw, received a bye in the first round. In the next round, the tandem defeated Gia McKnight of Depaul and Annie Sullivan of Yale 8-2 to advance to the quarterfinals. There they faced the third-seeded team of Nida Hamilton from Northwestern and Hanna Mar from Duke, taking the match 8-5 to advance. McLane and Lindsey next took on the No. 2 seeds, Jennifer Rabot and Mara Schmidt of Purdue, knocking them off 8-4 to reach the championship match.
The finals would be a showdown with the other fifth-seeded duo in the field, Alexandra Anghelescu and Caroline Lilley from Georgia Tech. A tiebreak was needed to decide the outcome, with McLane and Lindsey pulling away seven points to three to win the match and the title. Lindsey also won the doubles title last summer with current Alabama sophomore Alex Clay. The win capped off a very successful week for McLane, who managed to win the consolation singles draw as well. Anghelescu and Lilley have earned a wild card into the qualifying draw at the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championship by reaching the final.