MALIBU, Calif. – The main draws for the 2019 Oracle ITA Masters tournament were announced on Wednesday (Sept. 25).
The University of Virginia’s Natasha Subhash and Keegan Smith from UCLA received the No. 1 seeds in the women’s and men’s draws, respectively, while Smith and UCLA’s Abbey Forbes comprise the top mixed doubles team.
The top eight seeds in the men’s draw are Smith, Daniel Cukierman (USC), Hady Habib (Texas A&M), Jack Lin (Columbia), Matias Soto (Baylor), Juan Carlos Aguilar (Texas A&M), Sumit Sarkar (Rice) and Joseph Guillin (UC Santa Barbara). Joining Subhash among the women’s top eight seeds are Forbes, Ashley Lahey (Pepperdine), Katarina Jokic (Georgia), Jada Hart (UCLA), Alexa Graham (North Carolina) Sara Daavettila (North Carolina) and Anna Turati (Texas).
The top eight mixed doubles seeds include UCLA’s Smith and Forbes. Cukierman and Hart (USC/UCLA), Habib/Graham (Texas A&M/North Carolina), Aguilar/Jokic (Texas A&M/Georgia), Soto/Turati (Baylor/Texas), Gui Osorio/Lahey (San Diego/Pepperdine), Sven Lah/Subhash (Baylor/Virginia) and Lin/Luliia Bryzgalova (Columbia/Penn).
The Oracle ITA Masters opens Thursday (Sept. 26) at Pepperdine University with mixed doubles beginning 8 a.m. (PT) and tournament action will continue throughout the day. A total of six men’s and women’s featured matches will be played at the Malibu Racquet Club beginning at 10 a.m. (PT).
Now in its fifth year, the Oracle ITA Masters features elite NCAA Division I players in 32-player men’s and women’s singles draws and is the only collegiate event to showcase a mixed-doubles draw. Invitations are sent based on conference affiliation, with each conference having the opportunity to send its top returning player. Mixed doubles are paired based on conference affiliation and at-large selections.
The Oracle ITA Masters continues Friday and Saturday with the finals scheduled for Sunday (Sept. 29) at the Malibu Racquet Club. The women’s final begins at 11:30 a.m. (PT) and the men’s championship is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (PT). ESPNU will re-air the finals on Oct. 1 (women) and Oct. 2 (men) beginning at 1 p.m. (PT) both days.
The ESPN family of networks will broadcast the Oracle ITA Masters to a national audience for the second consecutive year. Seven of the Top 25 men’s players in the 2019-20 Oracle ITA Division I Preseason national rankings are scheduled to compete, including USC’s Daniel Cukierman (No. 8), Jack Lin (Columbia; No. 9), Carlos Aguilar (Texas A&M; No. 13), Matias Soto (Baylor; No. 14), Hady Habib (Texas A&M; No. 16), Keegan Smith (UCLA; No. 20) and Alex Brown (Illinois; No. 23).
The tournament will also feature seven top 25 women’s players, including University of Georgia junior and 2019 ITA National Player of the Year Katarina Jokic (No. 1), Alexa Graham (North Carolina; No. 4), Sara Daavettila (North Carolina; No. 7), Jada Hart (UCLA; No. 9), Ashley Lahey (Pepperdine; No. 14), Anna Turati (Texas; No. 17) and Asuka Kawaii (Illinois; No. 20).
The men’s and women’s singles champions will earn automatic entry into the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships scheduled for Nov. 6-10 in Newport Beach, Calif. Twice in its brief history, the Oracle ITA Masters champion has gone on to capture the NCAA singles championship in the same season. Virginia’s Danielle Collins won the inaugural event in 2015 before winning the NCAA women’s individual title the following spring. Miami (Fla.) junior Estela Perez-Somarriba became the second individual to accomplish the feat, winning the 2018 Oracle ITA Masters before claiming the NCAA title last spring.
The Oracle ITA Masters marks the first of four tournaments hosted by the ITA during the fall. The other events are the ITA All-American Championships Presented by Saint Francis Health System (Oct. 5-13; Tulsa, Okla.); ITA Cup (Oct. 17-20; Rome, Ga.) and Oracle ITA National Fall Championships (Nov. 6-10; Newport Beach, Calif.).
As title sponsor of the event, Oracle will host a Saturday Night Jam, highlighted by a performance from Josh Osswald and Friends beginning at 6 p.m. Oracle will also host an Oktoberfest BBQ on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. Both events will take place at the Malibu Racquet Club and admission is free. Food and beverage will be available for purchase.
About the Intercollegiate Tennis Association The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) is committed to serving college tennis and returning the leaders of tomorrow. As the governing body of college tennis, the ITA oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis at NCAA Divisions I, II and III, NAIA and Junior/Community College divisions. The ITA administers a comprehensive awards and rankings program for men’s and women’s varsity players, coaches and teams in all divisions, providing recognition for their accomplishments on and off the court. For more information on the ITA, visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com , like the ITA on Facebook or follow @ITA_Tennis on Twitter and Instagram.