ATLANTA--Georgia State junior Abigail Tere-Apisah begins competition on Thursday in the main draw at the 2012 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championship hosted at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Tere-Apisah begins play on Thursday morning at 10:45 a.m. PDT against Caroline Price of UNC. Price, a left-handed player who hails from nearby Duluth, Ga., is the daughter of standout NBA and Georgia Tech guard Mark Price. Carolina Price advanced to the main draw by winning three matches in the qualifying round, including one against seventh-seeded qualifier Ludmila Vasilieva of Washington State in straight sets. Tere-Apisah is in the same bracket as main draw seeds Mary Anne Macfarlane (#7) of Alabama and Zoe Scandalis (#4) of USC.
The annual event invites the nation's best players in Division I women's college tennis to compete in the pre-qualifying, qualifying and main draw sections of the prestigious tournament. Pre-qualifying matches began on Saturday, Sept. 29 at UCLA with qualifying matches spanning Oct. 2-3. The main draw is played at the Riviera Tennis Club from Oct. 4-7.
Tere-Apisah earned entry into the main draw of the tournament, in essence giving her a bye through the pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds, by earning ITA All-American status last season at the 2012 NCAA Women's Singles Championship. She was the first tennis player in GSU history to earn the honor and one of 24 players in the country to earn an invite to the main draw.
The prize each participant is striving for is an automatic entry into the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., from Nov. 8-11. Singles semifinalists and consolation champions will receive automatic entry into the prestigious tournament, which is the only ITA tournament to showcase elite players from every level of college tennis.
This year's Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships features seven student-athletes ranked in the top 10. A total of 12 returning ITA Singles All-Americans, including Tere-Apisah, are slated to compete for the tournament title. Past winners of the tournament have moved on to successful careers on the WTA Tour with many achieving top 100 rankings in the world.
Pre-qualifying featured a singles draw of 64 players. Each player needed to win three rounds in order to advance to the qualifying draw. In total, eight singles players advanced to the qualifying round. The qualifying rounds are also comprised of a singles draw of 64, adding in the eight players advancing from pre-qualifying. Just as with pre-qualifying, a singles player must win three consecutive matches to stay alive and move into the main draw from the qualifying round. Eight spots in the singles main draw are reserved for qualifiers.
The ITA Women's All-American Championships features three nationally-ranked singles players that took the courts at the Sharon Lester Tennis Center last weekend in the Southern Shootout, hosted by Georgia State. Tere-Apisah will be joined in the main draw by NC State's Joelle Kissell (No. 19) while USF's Ecaterina Vasenina (No. 29) competed in the qualifying draw.
Fans can follow the action with live scoring and a live chat courtesy of ITAtennis.com. Follow the Georgia State women's tennis team on Twitter at "@GSUWTennis," or the ITA at "@ITAtennis," for updates and news from Pacific Palisades.