Nov. 3, 2009
WACO, Texas - Junior Jordan Rux will compete in the singles tournament at the ITA National Indoor Championships starting Thursday, Nov. 5 and running through Sunday, Nov. 8.
The tournament hosted by Yale University at the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven, Conn., will consist of a 32-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles field, with a mandatory consolation field for first round losers. Of the 32 singles participants 25 are ranked in the ITA preseason rankings. Among those 25 ranked players are the No. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 players in the listings.
"It is an elite field and if Jordan wants to be one of the better players in the country, this is the kind of event he needs to be in," men's tennis coach Matt Knoll said. "He has never been to this tournament before, so it is a nice step for him. With only 29 guys making it in on merit, it is a pretty tough field."
Rux is one of 12 at-large bids in the tournament and will compete against the 12 regional champions, the four All-American semifinalists, two host wildcards, one super bowl champion from the Small College Championships and one ITA wildcard.
The junior from Kerrville, Texas played for an automatic bid in the Wilson/ITA South Central Region Championships, but came up short in the tournament's quarterfinals. The trip to the quarterfinals then put Rux into the mix for an at-large bid. The Bears have had a representative in ITA Indoor Championships every year since 2001.
Rux is ranked No. 27 in the ITA's preseason listings and has compiled a 10-2 record over the course of three tournaments this fall. He is 1-0 in indoor matches this season, after going 0-5 in indoor competition last season.
"Jordan game is not set up for indoor tennis," Knoll said. "He plays a little too defensively. He grew up in South Texas where you don't play indoor tennis, so he just doesn't have much experience at it. That said I think Jordan, absolutely, physically has the skill set to be successful indoors, in that: he can serve aggressively; he is a great mover; he can get to the net.
"We have been practicing the last few days to make him focus on things that will make him successful inside," Knoll said. "I think the biggest things for him are court positioning and just trying to keep the points a little shorter."
The first round singles tournament will start on Thursday, Nov. 5, with second and quarterfinal action taking place on Friday, Nov. 6. The semifinals will then be on Saturday and the finals on Sunday. The consolation play will start on Friday with all players being reseeded and redrawn.
To be selected as an at-large participant, competitors must have reached at least the quarterfinals of an ITA Regional Championship. From this pool, the ITA National Tournament Committee selects singles players in order of preseason ITA national ranking (once the ranking lists has been exhausted, the committee will make the selection based on fall results/performance).
Overall, more than 10,000 players from nearly 600 schools participate annually in the Wilson/ITA Regional and National Intercollegiate Championships. Past participants include current professionals Benjamin Becker (Baylor), James Blake (Harvard), Bob and Mike Bryan (Stanford), John Isner (Georgia), Kevin Kim (UCLA), and Todd Martin (Northwestern).
Tournament draws and results can be viewed here for this week's matches.