2013 Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships Set to Begin Saturday
Action kicks off with Pre-Qualifying Singles and Doubles, hosted by UCLA
The Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, CA, will again serve as the host site for the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships. The national championship is set to being on Saturday, Sept. 28 with pre-qualifying singles and doubles matches, which will once again be hosted by UCLA. Main draw action is slated for Thursday, Oct. 3-Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Riviera Tennis Club.
Pre-qualifying features a singles draw of 64 and a doubles draw of 32. Each player or doubles pair must win three rounds in order to advance to the qualifying draw; a total of eight singles players and four doubles duos move on to qualifying from pre-qualifying play. The qualifying rounds are also comprised of a singles draw of 64 and a doubles draw of 32. Just as with pre-qualifying, a singles player or doubles tandem must win three consecutive matches to stay alive and move into the main draw. Eight spots in the singles main draw are reserved for qualifiers, while the doubles main draw will feature four teams from qualifying.
Singles semifinalists, doubles finalists and consolation champions will receive automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships Nov. 7-10 in Flushing, NY.
This year's singles field will be loaded with talent as always, led by returning All-American Sabrina Santamaria from USC. A junior, Santamaria enters the event as No. 1 in the preseason singles rankings and No. 1 in the doubles preseason rankings with partner Kaitlyn Christian. Santamaria finished the 2012-2013 season with a 31-5 singles record and as the No. 3 ranked player in the ITA Division I Women’s Singles Rankings.
UCLA’s Robin Anderson is back for her junior season after a successful sophomore year in which she won the 2012 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Anderson is No. 3 in the ITA Division I Women's Singles Rankings after finishing No. 4 in the final 2012-2013 rankings.
Lauren Herring of Georgia enters the tournament after a strong sophomore season which saw her make the NCAA Singles quarterfinals. She was also the ITA Southeast Regional singles and doubles champion.
University of Virginia sophomore Elbaba, last year’s runner up, is one of 17 returning All-Americans participating in the 2013 event. The 2013 ITA Rookie of the Year, Elbaba will look to make an even bigger impression on the draw after losing a near three-hour battle with 2012 champion Lauren Embree of Florida.
The doubles field at this year's Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships is equally as strong, with the entire top 10 from the ITA Women's Preseason Rankings entered into the tournament. Defending champions Kaitlyn Christian and Sabrina Santamaria of USC return as No. 1 in the preseason ITA doubles rankings. The duo is coming off a huge season, when they completed the triple-crown, winning the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships, USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships and NCAA Women’s Doubles Championship.
There have been a few Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships winners who have gone on to have success at the professional level: Jill Craybas (Florida), who just retired at age 39 having reached the top 40 in the world in 2006; Raquel Kops-Jones (California), a current top 20 doubles player on the WTA Tour; and Irina Falconi (Georgia Tech), who broke inside the top 100 of the WTA singles rankings, peaking at No. 73 after reaching the third round of the 2011 US Open.
Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Pacific Palisades or search for the hashtag #RivieraITA to find other tweets from those tweeting the events from the Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships. Check out the ITA Facebook page or the 2013 All-American Championships webpage for more updates.