Stanford opens play at the ITA National Indoor Tournament in Columbus

Nov. 1, 2007

Two Cardinal singles players along with a doubles team will open play today at the ITA National Indoor Championships hosted by Ohio State University at the Racquet Club in Columbus, Ohio.

Freshman Alex Clayton along with sophomore Richard Wire will compete in singles while junior Blake Muller and freshman Ted Kelly team up in doubles.

Clayton, who earned a wild card draw after reaching the semifinals of the All-American Championships before losing to eventual champion Travis Helgeson, will face off against 65th ranked Dominic Inglot of Virginia today.

Wire will play 12th ranked Adam Homstrom of Denver this afternoon. Wire punched his ticket to the tournament when he won the ITA Regional Championships, earning an automatic bid.

The doubles team of Kelly and Muller will play 40th ranked Andy Connelly and Ross Cunningham of Tulsa today. Kelly and Muller won the ITA Regional Championships for the automatic bid.

This is the second of three national tournaments for singles and doubles during the 2007-08 collegiate tennis season. Matches begin at 11 am ET Thursday. First round doubles are followed by opening round singles (play concludes at approx. 9:30 pm). Admission is free.

The participants of the 2007 championships included some of the best and brightest players in college tennis. On the men's side, top-ranked defending NCAA singles champion Somdev Devvarman of Virginia is expected to be on hand, along with Georgia's Travis Helgeson, who won the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American championship in October. All-American doubles champions Devvarman and Treat Huey will also be competing, along with last year's National Indoors finalist Steven Moneke from host Ohio State and All-American finalist Robert Farah from USC.The seeding and draws were released on Monday. The top eight seeds singles for this week's championships are as follows:

Men's Singles:1. Somdev Devvarmam, Virginia
2. Travis Helegeson, Georgia
3. Robert Farah, USC
4. Greg Ouellette, Florida
5. Bryan Koniecko, Ohio State
6. Erling Tveit, Mississippi
7. Luke Shields, Boise State
8. Andre Begemann, Pepperdine

These championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team doubles field for men and women, including: qualifiers from Wilson/ITA Regional Championships held across the country during October, the ITA National Small College champions, the winners of the Polo Ralph Lauren Men's All-American Tennis Championships and at-large and wild card selections made by the ITA National Tournament Committee. Overall, more than 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the Wilson/ITA Regional and National Intercollegiate Championships.

This event was inaugurated in 1978 for the men and 1984 for the women and past champions and finalists include current professionals Benjamin Becker (Baylor), James Blake (Harvard), Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford), Laura Granville (Stanford), John Isner (Georgia), Kevin Kim (UCLA), and Lisa Raymond (Florida). Big Ten legends and Grand Slam finalists Todd Martin (Northwestern) and MaliVai Washington (Michigan) are also among the past champions. Host Ohio State has had several champions in recent years: Jeremy Wurtzman in 2003 (singles) and Scott Green and Ross Wilson in 2004 and 2005 in doubles.

Ohio State is the third Big Ten school to play host to this event joining Michigan and Minnesota. As host, Buckeye players will receive wild cards into the men's and women's singles and doubles draws.

The championships will take place at the Racquet Club of Columbus (1100 Bethel Road), one of the best indoor facilities in the region that features 10 Novacrylic tennis courts in three separate bays with spacious viewing lounges. The club hosts several junior and adult tournaments throughout the year.

The 2007-08 collegiate tennis season's first of three national championship events were the ITA All-American Championships in October, followed by the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships in November. The NCAA Championships in May are the third (and not administered by the ITA).

First round doubles matches begin at 11 am ET on Thursday, followed by opening round singles play. The ITA website (www.itatennis.com) will be carrying live stats throughout the tournament as well as video highlights and interviews of the final rounds starting on Saturday.

Today's Schedule:

Mens Singles
First Round

Alex Clayton (S) vs. Dominic Inglot. Virginia
Richard Wire, (S) vs. Adam Holmstrom, Denver

Men's Doubles
First Round

Ted Kelly and Blake Muller (S) vs. Andy Connelly and Ross Cunningham (Tulsa)

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