By Shan Reddy
Stanford tennis’ run in the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships ended quickly last weekend, with the Cardinal’s four representatives all falling in the first or second rounds. Stanford qualified seven players last season, but this year the team lacks the depth it’s had in years past.
The Oracle ITA National Fall Championships features 128 of the nation’s top collegiate singles players and 64 doubles teams; it is also the only event in collegiate tennis featuring competitors from all five divisions playing in the same tournament. To qualify, a player must have reached the quarterfinals of the Oracle ITA Masters, the round of 16 of the All-American Championships or the quarterfinals of an ITA Regional Championship.
Junior Michaela Gordon qualified in singles after winning the title at 2019 ITA Women’s Northwest Regional Championships, a tournament she has won in each of her three seasons at Stanford; she won the title as a freshman in her debut for the Cardinal. Junior Janice Shin also qualified in the same September tournament, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to Washington’s Katarina Kopcalic (5-7, 6-4, 6-1). Stanford’s women’s team also qualified one doubles team: the senior/freshman combo of Emily Arbuthnott/Angelica Blake, who took the title at the Northwest Regionals, defeating Kopcalic and teammate Sedonna Gallagher (6-4, 6-2).
Stanford’s men’s team only had one qualifier this year: Sangeet Sridhar, who put on a career showing at the ITA Men’s Northwest Regional Championships. The sophomore earned four straight two-set victories, storming all the way to the semifinals of the tournament, taking down 2019 First-Team Singles West Coast Conference honoree and Gonzaga senior Sam Feit in the quarterfinals. He fell in the semis to tournament No. 1 seed and 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Yuta Kikuchi, who posted a 20-16 singles record last season for the Cal Golden Bears.
Gordon and Sridhar were the only two to make it out of the first round for the Cardinal on day one of the tournament last Wednesday; No. 6 Gordon defeated Northern Arizona’s No. 71 Chiara Tomasetti (6-4, 6-3) and No. 80 Sridhar took down Michigan’s unranked Ondrej Styler (6-3, 6-4). Both would fall in three-set battles the next day, though; Gordon was upset by unranked Cal freshman Haley Giavara (6-3, 3-6, 7-5) and Sridhar fell to the Saint Mary’s Gaels’ top singles player, senior Damon Kesaris (6-2, 4-6, 6-1).
After falling in the first round, Shin ground all the way to the quarterfinals of the consolation draw, taking down Oklahoma’s No. 82 Martina Cappuro (1-6, 7-5, 7-5) and Colorado’s No. 65 Sara Nayar (7-6(3), 6-3) before falling to Georgia’s No. 37 Vivian Wolff (6-3, 6-1).
The event closes out Stanford tennis’ fall competition season. Both the men’s and women’s teams will return to in-season play next January.