November 7, 2009
Georgia Tech Singles, Stanford Doubles Highlight Finals Matchups at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
HAVEN, Conn. - Irina Falconi and Guillermo Gomez of
Georgia Tech will try to become only the second men's and women's
singles champions from the same school in the history of the ITA
National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, while the Stanford
men's and women's doubles teams try to complete the same feat which
has never before been accomplished. This year's event is hosted by
Yale University, November 5-8 at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center
in New Haven, Conn.
"During warm-ups, Irina and I were talking about how great it would
be if we both were to win the tournament, and it is looking like it
is very possible", said Gomez.
fifth-ranked Gomez will attempt to knock off two top-seeded Trojans
in three days en route to claiming the singles title. In
yesterday's quarterfinals, he knocked off No. 3 Robert Farah, his
finals opponent's partner, which was a rematch of last year's
match against Farah was very tough since he is a very good player,"
said Gomez. "I was very happy to beat him after he knocked me out
of the tournament last year. It just shows what a difference a year
makes and more importantly how hard we are working at Tech each and
Tomorrow's test is no easier for Gomez as USC's Steve Johnson is
not only the No. 5 seed but is coming off a monstrous come from
behind victory over top seed and clear favorite J.P. Smith of
Tennessee in today's semifinals. This matchup will also be a
rematch for Gomez to exact revenge as he dropped a three set match
to Johnson in the 2009 NCAA Singles Championship.
"I played Steve in the NCAA's but I had some problems physically",
said Gomez. "He is a fighter so I know it is going to be a
tough match but I am looking forward to it."
Johnson, a sophomore ranked No. 18 in singles and No. 3 in doubles
in the Campbell/ITA Preseason Rankings, has really stepped his game
up this fall, making it to the semifinals at the D'Novo/ITA
All-American Championships in early October and with today's win
over the top seed, proving he is among the nation's
"This has been a great fall so far", said Johnson. "I have
put in a lot of work this summer and it feels good to see results.
Tomorrow's rematch with Gomez should be fun. I got my revenge on
J.P. for beating Rob [Farah] at All-American and now I will do the
same for Guillermo because nobody beats two
He was recently selected by the USTA to represent the United States
in the fourth annual Master'U BNP Paribas, an international
collegiate competition held December 9-14 in Poitiers, France. The
event features eight teams composed of college and university
players from around the world.
Also selected to the US team on the women's side is Georgia Tech's
Irina Falconi. The second-seeded Falconi has played absolutely
incredible this fall and nearly flawless throughout this
tournament. The 2009 Riviera/ITA All-American singles champion has
outscored her last three opponents, an astounding 36-5, in
victories over eighth-ranked Vanessa Chan of Washington,
ninth-ranked Josipa Bek of Clemson and 23rd-ranked Lenka Broosova
"I honestly believe it is hard to determine how the match is played
due to the score", said Falconi. "All of these girls are
spectacular players and when you watch the match you wouldn't think
that was the score."
She is attempting to do what no woman has done since 1985 by
capturing the singles titles at both the Riviera/ITA All-American
Championship and the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor
"It would be amazing to have another national title", said Falconi.
"It would be a nice way to end the season - - a cherry on top."
She'll be facing one of her toughest challenges yet in California's
Jana Juricova, another sophomore who is ranked fourth in the
Campbell/ITA College Tennis Rankings. The two were close to meeting
in the finals at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships but
Georgia's Chelsey Gullickson, ranked No. 3 was able to hold off
Juricova in the semifinals. Both Juricova and Falconi have yet to
drop a set, setting up for a very entertaining finals matchup.
The women's doubles draw once again continued to offer up very few
surprises as the top-ranked Tennessee team of Natalie Pluskota and
Caitlin Whoriskey will face No. 2 seeded Hilary Barte and Lindsay
Burdette of Stanford.
For the second time this season and third in the past two, the Vols
and Cardinal squads will square off. The two teams recently
met in the quarterfinals at the Riviera/ITA All-American Tournament
in October, where Tennessee avenged its 2009 NCAA Doubles
Championship semifinal loss and would go on to capture the
tournament's doubles title.
"We are looking forward to tomorrow's match against Stanford in the
final," Co-Head Coach Mike Patrick said. "The last two meetings
against them have produced high quality tennis."
Should Stanford prevail, there will be extra incentive for the
third-ranked Stanford men's team as no school has captured the
men's and women's doubles titles in the history of the ITA National
Indoor tournament. Not only are Stanford's Bradley Klahn and Ryan
Thacher the only remaining seeded squad, they were also the only
seeded team to make it to the semifinals.
Duke's Reid Carleton and Henrique Cunha will try to keep the
Cardinal from making history as the duo's come from behind win over
a feisty Texas A&M squad improved their record to 17-2 on the
season, extending the D'Novo/ITA All-American Consolation
Champions' winning streak to 11 straight matches.
These championships feature a 32-player singles field and 16-team
doubles field for men and women, including: champions from
Wilson/ITA Regional Championships held across the country during
October, the ITA National Small College "Super Bowl" champions, the
singles semifinalists and doubles champions of the D'Novo/ITA Men's
All-American Tennis Championships and Riviera/ITA Women's
All-American Championships, and at-large and wild card selections
made by the ITA National Tournament Committee.
Play resumes Sunday with doubles finals beginning at 10 am (ET),
followed by singles finals at 1 pm (ET).
For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.