Oct. 10, 2013
THE FLATS – Looking to test themselves against the top players in the Southeastern region, Georgia Tech welcomes the best collegiate players from the states of Georgia and Florida to the Ken Byers Tennis Center this weekend for the USTA/ITA Southeastern Regional tennis tournament.
One of 16 regionals being held this weekend around the country, the event begins with qualifying matches on Friday morning, Oct. 11. The 64-player main singles draw and the 32-team doubles draw both begin Saturday morning, culminating with the championship matches in each draw Tuesday morning, Oct. 15. The singles and doubles champions from each regional advance to play in the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Nov. 7-10, in Flushing, N.Y.
Competition begins at 8 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and continues at 9 a.m. Monday and Tuesday on the outdoor courts at the Byers Tennis Complex, which is located on Fowler Street across from McCamish Pavilion, Tech’s basketball arena. Admission is free.
The Southeast region comprises Division I schools in Georgia and Florida. Six players ranked among the top 125 in the fall ITA national rankings will be competing, as well as eight of the nation’s top 60 doubles teams.
“We’re excited to be hosting regionals for the first time in our new Ken Byers Tennis Complex,” said Tech coach Kenny Thorne. “It’s a great opportunity for fans to come out and watch some of the best NCAA tennis in the nation. I like the tournament formats in the fall because it gives every player a chance to break out and have a great tournament. There is only one winner and that person gets an automatic bid into the prestigious national indoors. The doubles winning team gets in as well.”
Four of Tech’s players are entered in the main draw, including sophomores Nathan Rakitt (Marietta, Ga.), and Casey Kay (Atlanta, Ga.) and freshmen Carlos Benito (Madrid, Spain) and Cole Fiegel (Alachua, Fla.). Junior Colin Edwards (Valrico, Fla.) and sophomore Anish Sharma (Alpharetta, Ga.) will attempt to qualify for the main draw on Friday.
Tech’s doubles teams will include Rakitt and Fiegel, Benito and Kay, and Edwards and Sharma.
“We will have three new players – two freshmen and a sophomore transfer – playing starting Saturday as well as three returning players in the draw,” Thorne added. “We have had a good run in the past having representation in the national indoors the past few years. We have some young guys going for it this year. Should be interesting and will definitely be some great tennis.”
The Yellow Jackets have seen two of their doubles teams and one singles player win Southeast Regional titles in the last three years. Kevin King captured the singles title in 2011, while Juan Spir collected the two doubles crowns, one with King in 2010 and the other with Vikram Hundal last fall.
USTA/ITA SOUTHEAST REGIONAL
Ken Byers Tennis Complex, October 11-15, 2013
Friday, play begins at 8am – qualifying singles rounds of 32 and 16 (8 winners into main draw), round of 16 back draw
Saturday, play begins at 8am – main draw singles round of 64, doubles rounds of 32 and 16, back draw singles round of 32
Sunday, play begins at 8am – singles rounds of 32 and 16, quarterfinals in doubles
Monday, play begins at 9am – singles quarterfinals and semifinals, doubles semifinals
Tuesday, play begins at 9am – finals in singles and doubles
About Georgia Tech Men’s Tennis
Georgia Tech’s men’s tennis team is in its 16th year under head coach Kenny Thorne. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Championship 14 times.