July 13, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association has selected The Ohio State University as host forits 2005 and 2006 National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The event this year will take place Nov. 3-6 at the Racquet Club of Columbus.
The ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships are the second of three national tournaments for singles and doubles during the collegiate tennis season. Host Ohio State has had champions each of the last two years: Jeremy Wurtzman in 2003 (singles) and Scott Green and Ross Wilson last year in doubles.
“We’re delighted that Ohio State will be hosting this special event these next two years,” ITA Executive Director David A Benjamin said. “I’ve seen and heard nothing but great things about the university and the Racquet Club of Columbus and know this will be a great site for the event. Tennis fans in the Columbus area are in for a real treat.”
The ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field for men and women, including: qualifiers from ITA Regional Championships held across the country during October, the ITA National Small College champions, the winners of the ITA Men’s and Riviera/ITA Women’s All-American Championships and at-large and wild card selections made by the ITA National Tournament Committee. Overall, more than 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the ITA Regional and National Intercollegiate Championships.
This event wasinaugurated in 1978 for the men and 1984 for the women and recent champions and finalists include current and recent top 100 professionals James Blake (Harvard), Laura Granville (Stanford), Marissa Irvin (Stanford), Jeff Morrison (Florida) and Lisa Raymond (Florida). Big Ten legends and Grand Slam finalists Todd Martin (Northwestern) andMaliVai Washington (Michigan) are also among the past champions. 2005 marks the 15th anniversary of Martin’s championship run. Big Ten players havereached the men’s singles final at this event each of the pastfour years (winning three titles).
Ohio State is the third Big Ten school to play host to this event joining Michigan and Minnesota. Michigan hosted the event the past two years. As host, Buckeye playerswill receive wild cards into the men’s and women’s singles and doubles draws.
“We are very excited to be hosting the ITA National Indoors at the Racquet Club of Columbus,” Chuck Merzbacher, Ohio State women’s tennis coach, said. “This tournament will bring the very best in college tennis to our community. It will be great for our fans and for our program. With the host institution receiving wild-card entries in the singles and doubles, it will be a great opportunity for some of our team members to compete against the nation’s best.”
Ty Tucker, Ohio State men’s tennis coach, said the Ohio State administration and The Racquet Club staff worked diligently to secure the event for Columbus.
“We worked very hard with the ITA and Jim Hendrix at The Racquet Club to bring this event to Columbus,” Tucker said. “We are looking forward to Green and Wilson defending their 2004 National Indoor Title in their home city. I want to thank (Ohio State associate athletics director) Bill Myles and (Ohio State director of athletics) Gene Smith because this event would not be here if it were not for their efforts and support.”
The championshipswill take place at the Racquet Club of Columbus (1100 Bethel Road), one of the best indoor facilities in the region. The club features 10 Novacrylic tennis courts in three separate bays with spacious viewing lounges. The club hosts several junior and adult tournaments throughout the year.
The 2005-06 collegiate tennis season’s first of three national championship events arethe ITA All-American Championships inOctober, followed by the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November. The NCAA Championships in May are the third (and not administered by the ITA).
As the governing body of collegiate tennis the ITA promotes both the athletic and academic achievements of the collegiate tennis community. The ITA, which was founded in 1956 and is based in Skillman, N.J., administers numerous regional and national championships, the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, presented by the USTA, and the ITA Rankings for men’s and women’s tennis at the NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior College levels. The ITA also has a comprehensive awards program for players and coaches to honor excellence in academics, leadership and sportsmanship. The official ITA website is www.itatennis.com.