The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced on Thursday updates to its Division I tennis fall tournament schedule. While the ITA All-American Championships will not be held this year, the 2020 Oracle ITA Masters will be transformed into a highly select open event akin to the tournaments that will be part of the newly announced ITA Tour: Fall Circuit by UTR.
“The ITA is committed to providing safe opportunities for our collegiate athletes to compete,” ITA CEO Timothy Russell said. “Tennis is recognized as inherently a social-distancing sport. Our top priority is protecting the well-being of our student-athletes while working to allow them to play in environments guided by extensive publicly-stated health protocols.”
Due to the challenges of hosting a large national tournament on a college campus during a pandemic, coupled with the American Athletic Conference’s decision to cancel fall tennis competition under the auspices of university teams, the 2020 ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma will not be held.
The Oracle ITA Masters will be changed from the traditional format that has in recent years selected players based upon conference representation to an open, prize-money event for both genders with plans to feature top American juniors, top college players, and American professionals. Additional details concerning the location and selection process will be forthcoming.
Building on the success of the recently completed 2020 Oracle ITA Summer Circuit and 2020 Oracle ITA National Summer Championships, opportunities for play in the fall will be available to collegiate, professional, and junior players. The recently announced Fall Circuit begins on September 18th and will run for 10 weeks. These locally-based tournaments will provide exciting level-based competition in a safe environment with small draws and no fans. Selections will be made based on UTR and will only feature singles play.
The initial application for host sites will be open until August 16th. The tournament schedule will be released on August 24th with the phased tournament registration beginning on August 31st.
The ITA will announce plans for the Division II, III, NAIA, and Junior College Regional Championships and the ITA Cup on August 19th. Decisions regarding the ITA Division I Regional Championships and Oracle ITA National Fall Championships will come at a later date.