For the 28th year, the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, CA, will serve as the host site for the Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships. The national championship is set to being on Saturday, Sept. 29 with pre-qualifying singles and doubles matches, which will once again be hosted by UCLA. Main draw action is slated for Thursday, Oct. 4-Sunday, Oct. 7 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. 8-11 in Flushing, N.Y.
Despite the fact that the top three ranked players in the 2012 Campbell/ITA Preseason Women's Singles Rankings are missing from this year's event, the singles field is still full of a number of talented players, including the remaining seven athletes ranked in the top 10. Last year's finalist, Jacqueline Cako from Arizona State, will also be in the draw looking to take home the championship crown this season. A total of 12 returning ITA Singles All-Americans are slated to compete for the prestigious Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Singles Championship title.
The doubles field at this year's Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships is equally as loaded, with the entire top ten from the Campbell/ITA Women's Preseason Rankings entered into the event. The top four duos all hail from the Pac-12, including the first-ranked pair of Sabrina Santamaria and Kaitlyn Christian from USC, who claimed the 2011 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships doubles crown last November.
There have been a few Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships winners who
have gone on to have success at the professional level, including Jill Craybas (Florida), a player who is still competing on the WTA Tour at the age of 38 and reached the top 40 in the world in 2006; Raquel Kops-Jones (Cal), a current top 20 doubles player on the WTA Tour; and Irina Falconi (Georgia Tech), who broke inside the top 100 in the world in singles last year and reached the third round of the 2011 US Open.
Follow the ITA on Twitter, @ITAtennis, for updates and news from Pacific Palisades. Use the hashtag #RivieraITA for all tweets in regards to the event, or search the term "RivieraITA" to find others who are tweeting about the Riviera/ITA Women's All-Americans Championships, Sept. 29 to Oct. 7.