ATHENS, Ga. ----- The University of Georgia and the Dan Magill Tennis Complex will serve as the host site for the 2010 and 2012 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Tennis Championships, the NCAA announced Monday.
The best collegiate tennis teams and student-athletes from across the country will be in Athens to showcase their talents and compete for national titles. The Dan Magill Tennis Complex has played host to the men's NCAA Championships 21 times and the women's NCAA Championships four times, most recently in 2007.
"This is a tremendous honor to once again have the opportunity to play host to this prestigious event," said Georgia men's tennis coach Manuel Diaz. "This is a credit to the outstanding support we have from our athletic department and staff, the university, the community and all the tennis fans who flock to Athens for the NCAAs. We have the very best facility in college tennis, and the environment here is a very unique experience for the student-athletes. We're glad to see it coming back."
The 2010 event (May 20-31) will mark the fifth consecutive year that both the men's and women's titles will be contested in the same location. In 2006, Stanford played host while Georgia followed in 2007 and Tulsa in 2008. The 2009 NCAA Tennis Championships will be at Texas A&M in May. For the men, the NCAA will crown its 65th champion in 2010. For the women, the 2010 champion will mark the 29th. The 2011 NCAA Championships will be at Stanford. Then, the 2012 NCAA Championships return to Athens May 17-28.
The host Bulldogs have had several national champions of their own. The men's team captured the NCAA title six times - 1985, 1987, 1999, 2001, 2007 and 2008 (all but 2008 in Athens). It has produced the singles champion four times (Mikael Pernfors in 1984 and 1985 and Matias Boeker in 2001 and 2002) and the doubles champion three times (Allen Miller and Ola Malmqvist in 1983, Boeker and Travis Parrott in 2001 and John Isner and Antonio Ruiz in 2005).
The women's team claimed the national title in 1994 and 2000, the former coming in Athens. It boasts two singles champions as well in Lisa Spain (1984) and Angela Lettiere (1994).
"It's very exciting for our student-athletes to have the opportunity to play the biggest tournament of the year on their home courts," said Georgia women's tennis coach Jeff Wallace. "It's a huge honor to host, and it's coming back to Athens because of the fantastic job and all the hard work that everyone here has done in the past. It was an incredible feeling when we won the NCAA title here in front of our crowd."
Currently, both Georgia tennis teams are 5-0. The men's team is ranked third nationally while the women's team is sixth.
The NCAA has recognized a national champion in men's tennis every year since 1946. It has done so in tournament format since 1977. The first Women's NCAA Tennis Championships was held in 1982. The tournaments have undergone some changes since their inceptions, including moving from a 16-team field to the current 64-team field in 1999. The first two rounds are held at on-campus sites, followed by the Round of 16 and beyond at a designated NCAA Championship site.
In the inaugural men's tournament held at the University of Georgia, Stanford defeated UCLA in the team portion while the Cardinal's Matt Mitchell was the singles champion and Bruce Manson and Chris Lewis of Southern California claimed the doubles crown.
In the first women's tournament, Stanford defeated UCLA in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Cardinal's Alycia Mouton won the singles championship and the Bruins duo of Heather Ludloff and Lynn Lewis took the inaugural doubles honor.