the ITA All-American Championships

Ratnika Batra collected three wins over the weekend in Southern California, advancing to the qualifying round of the ITA All-American Championships, one of three national championship events on the college tennis calendar. 

Batra did what the Texas football team could not do against Ole Miss this season: win. The freshman from New Delhi, India beat Erin Stephens in straight sets to start her Saturday.

In her second match, Batra faced University of Southern California’s Kaitlyn Christian, ranked No. 86 in singles and No. 1 in doubles. She quickly
defeated the Trojan tennis player (6-2, 6-1) to advance to the pre-qualifying round of 16.

Batra played against Big 12 foe No. 116 Nikki Sanders of Texas Tech on Sunday. Batra outlasted Sanders in two long, competitive sets (7-5, 7-6), advancing to the qualifying draw.

“It was a gritty performance from Ratnika today,” assistant coach Darija Klaic said.  “Ratnika played flawlessly on Saturday, but today was a different day and a different story, but Ratnika managed to keep the match on track. She fought through it all and was the last one standing at the end of a tough battle.”

With two wins over ranked opponents, Batra improved to 4-1 in singles competition. Her next match is Tuesday at the Riviera Tennis Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

Men's Tennis

With the field dwindling as the ITA All-American Championships near their end, only three Longhorns remain in the competition.

In the main singles draw, Daniel Whitehead fell in the first round to Alex Domijan from Virginia. But Soren Hess-Olesen won his first and second-round matches in straight sets to advance to the round of 16. He will face Japie De Klerk today for the chance to advance to the quarterfinals.

The pair of Sudanwa Sitaram and Whitehead was eliminated in the first round of the doubles draw to bring the tournament to a close for both. Chris Camillone and David Holiner used an 8-6 win over Robin Cambier and Jeff Mullen to advance to the round of 16. The fourth-seeded pair will face Jarryd Chaplin and Mikelis Libietis out of Tennessee, with the winner advancing to the elite eight.

Texas has made a significant improvement on its performance from last season. It did not advance a single athlete into the main draw for either singles or doubles play, but its performance this season has given the Longhorns a chance at two titles this season.

A win Friday would put either of the Longhorns into the semifinals Saturday, with the finals of both the singles and doubles play taking place Sunday. After being shut out of main draw play last season, Texas is already ahead for this season. But with the championships only a few wins away, the Longhorns might as well enjoy their stay in Tulsa as long as they can.