TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State men’s tennis program is hosting the third annual USTA Collegiate Clay Court Invitational at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando from Oct. 30-Nov. 2.
“We are excited about the opportunity to host the USTA Clay Court Invitational for the third consecutive year,” said Florida State head coach Dwayne Hultquist. “The partnership between the USTA, Disney, and Florida State makes this a unique event. We are looking forward to extended ESPN3 coverage and are hoping the Orlando and central Florida community get behind the event.”
The tennis complex at ESPN Wide World of Sports includes 10 world-class clay courts, including a stadium court which can seat more than 1,000 spectators. The facility has hosted a variety of major tennis events over the years featuring global tennis stars such as Venus and Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Billie Jean King and Andy Roddick.
Joining the No. 37 Florida State men’s team at the event are 15 other schools that finished the 2014 season in the ITA rankings, including No. 15 Florida, No. 23 USF, No. 55 Miami and No. 69 UCF. Also participating is defending national champion Southern California, NCAA Tournament semifinalist Virginia and quarterfinalist Columbia.
The Florida State women’s team, ranked No. 31 in the final ITA poll of 2014, is one of 22 women’s teams participating, including 20 that finished last season ranked. Among them is national finalist North Carolina, national semifinalist No. 5 Florida, No. 12 Miami, No. 13 Clemson and No. 35 USF.
Between the men’s and women’s draws, the event will host over 40 schools around the country, the most in the event’s three-year history.
“As a former player, coach and now a fan of collegiate tennis this would be an event I would want to play,” said Virgil Christian, Director of Community Development and Facilities at the USTA. “I cannot think of many better places in the country to hold such an event, at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Disney in the wonderful city of Orlando. This will be an exciting weekend on clay as the top players and coaches gather next month to compete in this year’s event.”
“This popular collegiate tennis event further underscores our commitment to hosting top-flight events at our sports complex,’’ said Kevin Weickel, Manager, Sports Development at Disney Sports. “Having the tournament shown live on ESPN3 creates tremendous national exposure for the schools and their student-athletes, and is one of the unique benefits of staging events at our sports complex.’’
A collaboration between Disney, the USTA and Florida State, the Collegiate Clay Court Invitational is the most televised collegiate tennis event in the country, airing over 20 hours of live footage on ESPN3.
Sponsorship packages are still available for fans hoping to help ensure the event’s success for this year and coming seasons. Each sponsorship package includes tickets to each day of the event as well as parking passes and can include tickets to the opening night welcome dinner on Thursday, October 30th.
For more information, visit www.seminoles.com or contact Derril Beech at (850) 645-8296. From there, you can purchase sponsorship packages and find other information about next month’s event. You can also keep up with the team on Twitter @FSU_MTennis.
Men’s Teams participating (with 2014 final ranking):
Women’s Teams participating (with 2014 final ranking):