WAATC Main Draw Starts Today at Riviera

Now, the real fun begins in the ITA Women’s All-American Tennis Championships at Riviera. Prequalifying and qualifying rounds have been completed and the main draw starts today at the historic club off Capri Drive.

For the 34th consecutive year, Riviera Tennis Club is hosting the country’s best Division I women’s players, many of whom are staying the week at the homes of Riviera members.

Vanderbilt senior Fernanda Contreras will try to join elite company by becoming only the fifth player in tournament history to repeat after winning eight matches in six days to become the Commodores’ first singles champion as a qualifier last fall, beating Florida Atlantic’s Aliona Bolsova, 6-3, 6-3, in the final.

“I’m really excited to head back out to California, it’s my favorite tournament of the year by far,” said Contreras, who roomed at the Highlands home of Palisades High tennis twins Ireland and Sophia Amato on her way to the title 12 months ago. “The courts, our host family, the environment, everything is superb. I have no expectations. I really want to compete, give it my all, and have fun out there. Work and respect is the most important thing before and during the event. There’s nothing to defend, this is a new year, new competitors and it’ll be a great week. I’m eager to head out with some of my teammates.”

Contreras has also paired with Summer Dvorak in doubles, needing to win three matches (beginning Tuesday) to make the main draw. The singles final will be contested Sunday morning, immediately followed by the doubles final.

Other main draw singles entries include UCLA’s Jada Hart, Virginia Tech’s Natalie Novotna, Wisconsin’s Sara Castellano, Duke’s Kelly Chen, Michigan’s Kate Fahey and Pepperdine’s Ashley Lahey.

In addition to vying for the All-American national crown, players will compete to secure a berth into the 2018 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in November in Surprise, Arizona. Singles quarterfinalists, consolation singles finalists, doubles semifinalists and consolation doubles finalists will qualify.

—STEVE GALLUZZO