University of Georgia’s top-ranked Katarina Jokic headlines the field in the first Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Championship of the 2019-2020 season starting Thursday in Malibu.
Jokic, the 2019 ITA National Player of the Year, will be among the 32-player field that will be competing in the fifth annual 2019 Oracle ITA Masters from Sept. 26-29. The Malibu Racquet Club and Pepperdine University are serving as the hosts this year.
The tournament will feature seven of the nation’s top 20 ranked women’s players, including 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).
Invitations are sent based on conference affiliation, with each conference having the opportunity to send its top returning player. The women’s and men’s singles champions earn automatic entry into the 2019 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships, which will be held Nov. 6-10 in Newport Beach, California.
Live scoring will be available for all matches through Tennis Ticker, while live streaming for select matches at Malibu Racquet Club will be provided by TempuZ. ESPNU will re-air the finals on Oct. 1 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
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.).
Meanwhile, the remainder of the Georgia women’s tennis team will head to Fort Worth, Texas for the Big 12 versus SEC Challenge that begins Friday on the campus of Texas Christian University.
A round-robin event of singles and doubles, the field will include players from Texas A&M, Tech Tech, the Bulldogs and the host Frogs. Georgia senior Marta Gonzalez is ranked No. 13 nationally in singles to start the fall while junior Vivian Wolff is No. 37, sophomore Meg Kowalski is No. 69 and senior Elena Christofi is No. 113. The Wolff/Christofi team checks in at No. 19 in the doubles rankings while freshman Lea Ma is No. 5 in the top 10 Freshman/Newcomer rankings.
Georgia has played in one fall tournament, the Puerto Rico Fall Classic earlier this month. Jokic and Ma went 3-0 in singles to lead the squad while the tandems of Jokic/Wolff and Ma/Morgan Coppoc were 2-0.