Sports

Stanford players set for big New York tournament

 

Stanford's Ryan Thacher, Mallory Burdette, Nicole Gibbs, Stacey Tan and Ellen Tsay will be competing at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships beginning Thursday in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

"That the event is held at the home of the US Open provides a unique opportunity for

these players to compete on a world-class stage," said Stanford grad Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of USTA player development.

Thacher and Gibbs each qualified for the tournament by winning the singles title at the ITA Northwest Regional in October. Thacher won in Seattle while Gibbs beat Burdette in the finals at Stanford.

Thacher, Burdette and Tan each appeared in the finals of the NCAA singles and doubles championships last spring at Stanford, while Gibbs reached the semifinals of the singles tournament.

Burdette and Gibbs are both playing in the singles tournament and teaming up in the doubles tournament. Tan and Tsay are in the doubles tournament, advancing by winning the regional title at Stanford.

Thacher opens play against Illinois' Roy Kalmanovich on Thursday. Virginia's Mitchell Frank and Alex Domijan are seeded first and second, respectively.

Three Stanford men have won singles titles: Alex Kim in 2001, Jeff Salzenstein in 1996 and Dan Goldie in 1985.

Thacher and Bradley Klahn won the doubles title in 2009, joining Paul Goldstein and Scott Humphries as the only Cardinal doubles champions in the event, which dates to 1978.

Gibbs is seeded second in the women's tournament and will met Vanderbilt's Jackie Wu in the first round. Burdette, seeded fourth, meets Ana Veselinovic of Auburn-Montgomery.

California's Jana Juricova is the No. 1 seed. She reached the finals of last year's event before losing to USC's Maria Sanchez. Juricova won the title in 2009.

Laura Granville is the last Stanford woman to win the event, capturing the title in 2000 and 2001. Cardinal players Marissa Irvin (1999) and Julie Scott (1998) also own titles.

Heather Willens beat Kim Shasby in an all-Stanford final in 1993, and Tami Whitlinger beat Cardinal teammate Julie Green to capture the 1989 title. Overall, 12 Stanford players have appeared in 13 championship matches in an event that began in 1984.

Burdette and Gibbs are the top-seeded doubles team and will play Alabama's Alexa Guarachi-Mary Anne Macfarlane.

Stanford has won eight doubles titles, most recently Hilary Barte and Lindsay Burdette in 2009.

The indoor championships, hosted by Columbia, are the culmination of the fall season and features a 32-player singles draw and a 20-team doubles draw for men and women.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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