November 6, 2009
Top Seed Smith Falls in Doubles but Advances to the Semifinals in Singles at the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships
HAVEN, Conn. - The possibility of J.P. Smith's quest to
sweep back-to-back singles and doubles titles at the fall ITA
National Championships came to a halt as Tennessee's top-ranked
doubles team of Smith and Davey Sandgren were upset by an upstart
Texas A&M squad today at the ITA National Intercollegiate
Indoor Championships, hosted by Yale University, November 5-8 at
the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center in New Haven, Conn.
The Texas A&M tandem of Austin Krajicek and Jeff Dadamo stunned
the top-ranked Vols that were selected as the 2009 Campbell/ITA
Doubles Team of the Year in an 8-3 victory.
"We got off to a very fast start," Texas A&M head coach Steve
Denton said. "These doubles pro-sets indoors are usually a sprint.
We were more aggressive than Tennessee which was the difference.
For an early morning match, our guys came out with a lot of energy
and were fired up, ready to play. Once we had the momentum and had
the second break at 5-2, Austin and Jeff relaxed and played even
Krajicek and Dadamo have won seven-straight matches (7-0) since the
beginning of their successful tournament run at the Wilson/ITA
Texas Regional Championships held in College Station which resulted
in an automatic bid to the ITA National lndoors as the doubles
titlists. The victory matched Krajicek's highest career doubles
victory, while it was the first for Dadamo who is a transfer from
the University of Florida playing in his first season for the
The two Aggies may have only played a total of seven matches
together but have loads of chemistry stemming from their days
growing up in Florida. "Both of us are from the Tampa area and knew
each other from local tournaments", said Dadamo. "We just need to
take care of what we need to do for the next match, knowing that if
we win the last point, we win the match", said Krajicek. "Champions
are made when no one is looking."
Smith recently achieved a feat that only two others have
accomplished in the history of the ITA Men's All-American
Championships, by capturing the singles and doubles titles in early
October. Even with the loss in doubles, Smith's singles title hopes
are still very much alive as he picked up two more wins today to
advance to tomorrow's semifinals. The road was perhaps paved a bit
easier for Smith as five of the remaining seven seeds in men's
singles were all ousted in today's competition.
"I've been practicing a lot and getting stronger physically and
mentally", said Smith. "Last year I didn't know what to expect,
being my first time playing in this event, the pressure got to me a
little bit. This year, I learned from the mistakes I
made last year. Winning the All-American has
given me a lot of confidence especially knowing that I can win
"As far as the doubles loss today, we've been mixing it up a lot to
create some depth on our team as I've already played with four
partners this fall", said Smith. "Coming here not having played
with Davey in nearly two months, it really takes a lot of time to
get used to your partner again, which is something we'll have to
work on looking forward to the spring."
Entering play today, there were seven players, including Smith,
with an opportunity to advance to the semifinals in both singles
and doubles. Of those seven not one was able to complete the feat.
Also, entering the quarterfinal singles, five sets of teammates had
the opportunity for both to reach the semifinals. Of
those five, not one team was able to accomplish the task.
On the women's side, Georgia Tech's Irina Falconi, the highest
remaining singles seed continues her quest to pad an already
incredible summer and fall resume. The 2009 Riviera/ITA
All-American singles champion outscored eighth-ranked Vanessa Chan
of Washington and ninth-ranked Josipa Bek of Clemson, an astounding
24-4 to head into tomorrow's semifinals as the assumed
However, two other top seeds will square off tomorrow in hopes of
dethroning Falconi, should she advance past Baylor's Lenka Broosova
to the women's finals. Cal's Jana Juricova is the next highest seed
at No. 4 and will see a familiar face across the net in Pac-10
rival Denise Dy of Washington, the No. 7 seed. Ironically, both
Washington and California were two of the teams who had the
opportunity to place a set of teammates in the semis.
The women's doubles draw continues to offer up very few surprises
as three of the top four seeds have all made it into the
semifinals. The only team to take a fall was the No. 3 seeded Cal
team. Oddly enough, on the men's side, the only seeded squad still
alive is the No. 3 seed, Stanford's Bradley Klahn and Ryan
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 Saturday with semifinal doubles matches beginning
at 9 am ET.
For complete results and event information, visit www.itatennis.com.