Now in its third year of existence, the Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational, a collaboration between the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Intercollegiate Tennis Association, provides student-athletes the unique opportunity of competing on grass courts.
For the 2018 event, which takes place September 14-16, International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin extended his eight invitations to Division III teams, marking the first time teams outside of Division I will compete in the Grass Court Invitational.
Martin had this to say about the impetus behind creating the Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational, back in 2016.
“This is an exciting new event to add to the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s calendar. The objectives of this tournament are multi-faceted. Every day at the Hall of Fame, we strive to inspire the next generation of great tennis champions and very likely, some of them are playing collegiate tennis at this moment. We are delighted to welcome some of the top collegiate players to the Hall of Fame, where they will be immersed in our sport’s rich history and hopefully inspired by the Hall of Famers who are honored here.
“Additionally, the Hall of Fame is a place where our sport is celebrated every day. Collegiate tennis is an integral part of our sport in so many ways and it is also really exciting to watch. These players are competitive and incredibly talented. They are committed to the sport and to pursuing a higher education. It will be a great event for families with aspiring young players to attend as well as for general tennis fans who are interested in watching some top-notch competitive tennis. For any tennis fans who have been meaning to plan a visit to the museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame – this would be a great weekend to do it.”
Four men’s teams (Bowdoin, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Trinity (TX) and Washington University in St. Louis) and four women’s teams (Carnegie Mellon, Chicago, Emory and Washington & Lee) will take part in the three-day event, held on the historic Bill Talbert Stadium Court and additional grass courts at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.
Each participating team will take part in flighted singles play on Friday and Saturday, with doubles action slated for Sunday. A player’s Oracle ITA national ranking (from the end of the 2017-18 season) and Universal Tennis Rating will be factored into seeding. Match results will count towards a player’s overall record and are Oracle ITA Collegiate Tennis Rankings-eligible.
Below is a look at where all eight participating teams ended the 2018 season in the Oracle ITA Division III National Team Rankings.
Collegiate Players Hit the Grass Court in the Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational This Week
Grant Urken (UTR 12.99) of Bowdoin, who won the 2018 NCAA Division III National Singles Championship, highlights the men’s competitors. Urken finished the 2017-18 season atop the Oracle ITA Division III men’s national singles rankings. Jack Katzman (UTR 12.79) of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps is another name to keep an eye on in Newport, as Katzman was the year-end No. 3-ranked player.
Emory’s Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico (UTR 10.21) is the highest-ranked women’s player competing in the event, as she finished the 2017-18 season with a No. 2 Oracle ITA national singles ranking.
The Hall of Fame ITA Grass Court Invitational is free of charge and open to the public, providing a great opportunity for fans to see high caliber competitive tennis. During the event days, admission to the museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame will be reduced to $8 from the standard $15, making it a great time for tennis fans to visit. Admission to the museum for kids ages 16 & under is always free.
For additional information, please visit www.tennisfame.com.
This post is courtesy of Dan Johnson, ITA Director of Communications and Marketing.
Bowdoin (No. 2)
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (No. 6)
Trinity (TX) (No. 17)
Washington University in St. Louis (No. 9)
Carnegie Mellon (No. 11)
Chicago (No. 10)
Emory (No. 2)
Washington & Lee (No. 18)