The USTA announced that eight of the nation’s top juniors will compete in a unique tournament format playing against some of the country’s top collegiate players in the Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic, September 23-25. This will be the second consecutive year that juniors will be incorporated into the 11-year-old event.
The round-robin event, which will take place at Meadowood Napa Valley in St. Helena, Calif., features four players from six NCAA Division I schools including the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Notre Dame; the University of Tennessee; Tulsa University and Vanderbilt University.
"We’re looking forward to once again incorporating some of our top juniors into this great event and having them compete against some of the country’s top collegians," said Patrick McEnroe, General Manager, USTA Player Development. "Collegiate competition is a key component of the pathway from junior tennis to professional tennis, and letting our juniors compete with college veterans will help with their development as they mature both mentally and physically."
Each school will send four players to compete alongside the eight juniors*, and the 32-man field will be split into eight pools featuring three collegians and a junior. Following three matches in pool play, the eight pool winners will compete in a single-elimination, 10-point tiebreak tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a USTA-sponsored wild card into a USTA Pro Circuit event that is yet to be determined.
The event, which was founded 11 years ago by Cal coach Peter Wright and Meadowood Tennis Director Doug King, will feature junior players for the second consecutive year after being held exclusively for collegians from 2001-09. Last year’s competition included 2010 US Open boys’ champion Jack Sock, who this year successfully defended his USTA Boys’ 18s National Championship and also won the US Open mixed doubles title. This year’s roster of juniors was selected by USTA Player Development based on ATP rankings (if applicable), national junior rankings and results, and a selection of younger players for developmental purposes.
"Bringing the elite juniors to this event gives us a unique opportunity to help American junior development," said Wright. "The event was a major success last year and we look forward to another year of high-quality competition this year."
This will be the 11th consecutive year the event has been held at Meadowood, and the fourth year Land Rover has served as the title sponsor
USTA and Collegiate Tennis: For the second straight year this fall, the USTA will serve as title sponsor and host of the USTA/ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center’s indoor tennis center. The USTA will also serve as the title sponsor of the USTA/ITA National Small College Championships, the USTA/ITA National Collegiate Wheelchair Championships and 88 USTA/ITA Regional Tournaments. In all, close to 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the USTA/ITA Regional Championships. The USTA also names its Collegiate Team, an elite training program for top American collegiate tennis players that began in 1996 and is funded by the USTA. It is designed to provide college players with valuable exposure to the USTA Pro Circuit in a team-oriented environment during the year. Current pros who were members of prior USTA Summer Collegiate Teams include: James Blake, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, John Isner, Amer Delic, Jesse Levine, Laura Granville and Irina Falconi.
Land Rover Napa Valley Tennis Classic – Roster of Participants
JC Aragone (16, Yorba Linda, Calif.)
Luca Corinteli (16, Alexandria, Va.)
Connor Farren (16, Hillsborough, Calif.)
Alexios Halebian (17, Glendale, Calif.)
Mitchell Krueger (17, Aledo, Texas)
Nikko Madregallejo (16, Monrovia, Calif.)
Spencer Papa (15, Edmond, Okla.)
Michael Redlicki (17, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.)
University of California, Berkeley
Nick Andrews (SR, Folsom, Calif.)
Carlos Cueto (JR, Spain)
Christoffer Konigsfeldt (JR, Denmark)
Ben McLachlan (SO, New Zealand)
University of California, Los Angeles
Warren Hardie (JR, Laguna Niguel, Calif.)
Dennis Mkrtchian (FR, Reseda, Calif.)
Max Tabatruong (JR, France)
Clay Thompson (SO, Venice Beach, Calif.)
University of Notre Dame
Greg Andrews (SO, Richland, Mich.)
Niall Fitzgerald (SR, Ireland)
Sam Keeton (SR, Overland Park, Kan.)
Casey Watt (SR, Pittsburgh)
University of Tennessee
Jarryd Chaplin (SO, Australia)
Edward Jones (JR, England)
Mikelis Libietis (FR, Latvia)
Hunter Reese (RS FR, Kennesaw, Ga.)
University of Tulsa
Japie De Klerk (SO, South Africa)
Grant Ive (JR, South Africa)
Clifford Marsland (JR, Australia)
Ashley Watling (SR, England)
Gonzalez Austin (FR, Miami)
Blake Bazarnik (SO, Kildeer, Ill.)
Alex DiValerio (SR, Malvern, Pa.)
Charlie Jones (SR, Destrehan, La.)