Oracle Corporation and the ITA announced on Tuesday that there will be big changes to the final major event of the fall. The National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, which began in 1978 and have been held in New York for the last several years, will be moving to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden and will be renamed the Oracle ITA National Fall Championship. In addition to a new name and new location the event will also be expanding the field. In the past it was a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles draw but starting this November it will be a 64-player singles draw and a 32-team doubles draw.
The ITA is still working on the details on what it will take to qualify but it sounds like it will probably be similar to what was already in place which was a combination of the winners from the ITA Regional Championships, the All-American Championships, the Oracle ITA Masters, and those that were highly ranked. The first Oracle ITA National Fall Championship will take place on November 2nd through 5th.
Ohio State came into Sunday with a chance to be the first school to sweep the men's and women's singles titles at the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships since Stanford in 2001 (Alex Kim/Laura Granville) but while one Buckeye would play the all-important no-ad points to perfection the other wouldn't fair as well.
Ohio State sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo was attemping to become the first women to repeat as the NIIC Singles Champ since Arkansas's Aurelija Miseviciute (2007/2008) while her opponent North Carolina senior Hayley Carter was trying to give North Carolina it's second title in the last four years (Jamie Loeb 2013). Di Lorenzo had won both of the previous head-to-head meetings in straight sets (2015 NIIC, 2016 Oracle) so Carter knew she'd have to play her best in the big moments to come out on top.
Both of the top seeds from Ohio State pushed one step closer to singles championships but they'll have experienced seniors on the oppostie side of the net on Sunday morning. Ohio State junior Mikael Torpegaard cruised past a pair of opponents on Friday but there'd be no cruising in the semifinals against Mississippi State sophomore Nuno Borges. Torpegaard broke Borges to start the match and held for 2-0 but Borges broke back and held to even it at 2-2. Torpegaard broke right back and held again for 4-2 and then a few games later served out the set from 40/15 to take it 6-4.
Borges fought off a pair of break points to start the second set and then broke Torpegaard to take the early 2-0 lead. Just as Torpegaard did in the first set, he broke back after getting broke and then held to even it at 2-2. It'd be all holds the rest of the set and then Borges raced out to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak. Torpegaard managed to come back and even it at 6-6 but Borges got the next point on his serve and then the following point on Torpegaard's serve to finally close out the tiebreak 8-6.
Arkansas senior Mike Redlicki (14.31) started off his junior season by winning the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta and today he began his senior season by winning the top singles flight at the Southern Intercollegiates in Athens. Redlicki, who was the top seed, won six matches (all in straight sets) over the last four days including today's 6-4, 6-4 win over the No. 11 seed Oklahoma junior Spencer Papa (14.15). Papa also had a strong week by winning four straight matches over ranked opponents before falling in today's final.
“Mike played a beautiful match against Spencer in the final,” head coach Andy Jackson said. “He beat a quality field in brutally hot conditions this weekend. He earned the title with hard work and smart play. The Razorbacks are very proud of him. Next up for us is the ITA All-American as we continue to get ready for the team season in January.”