2012 Pac-12 Tennis Championships Preview
PAC-12 INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Pac-12's eight men's teams and 11 women's teams come to Ojai, Calif., Wednesday, April 25-Sunday, April 29 to decide the league's women's singles and doubles champions, in addition to the men's team champion—a new addition to the tournament this year. For the women, the 32-player singles draw consists of three players from each of the top ten schools that sponsor women's tennis and two players from the 11th-place team, based on the regular season standings. The 16-team women's doubles draw will have one doubles team from each of the 11 schools and five additional teams selected by the Draw Committee. For the men, the Pac-12 hosts its first-ever team tennis tournament to determine the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Championships. Teams will be seeded based on won-lost percentages during regular-season Conference play. On Wednesday, matches between seed Nos. 5 and 8 and Nos. 6 and 7 will open play. The No. 3 and No. 4 seeds will play the winners, respectively, on Thursday. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds advance directly to the semifinal round on Friday.
WHAT & WHERE: Pac-12 competition will be held in conjunction with the 112th Annual Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament. The Pac-12 men will compete at Libbey Park in Ojai for all rounds. The Pac-12 women will play the first two rounds at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club, and then will play the semifinals and finals at Libbey Park. The men's team championship match will be played at Libbey Park on Saturday at 4 p.m. The women's singles championship match is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Sunday at Libbey Park and will be followed by the doubles final.
OJAI HISTORY: The Pac-12 Championships will keep with tradition as the featured event at this year's 112th Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament, which attracts 1,600 of the best college, junior and open players from the Western states. The annual event, started by William Thacher in 1896, has been played at the same site and interrupted only five times. If this tournament, put on entirely by volunteer efforts on public and privately owned courts, seems an unlikely place to see championship quality players, consider who has appeared here: Pete Sampras, Lindsay Davenport, Michael Chang, Rick Leach, Tracy Austin, Billy Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and the Bryan twins. These tennis greats are among more than 85 former players at The Ojai who have gone on to win one or more Grand Slam events as professional tennis players, all of whom are listed on Libbey Park's "Wall of Fame."