Charlottesville, Va. - William and Mary junior men's tennis player Jamie Whiteford upset a top 20 nationally ranked opponent and the two-time defending champion on his way to the Tribe's first ITA Atlantic Regional Singles Championship on Tuesday. By virtue of claiming the regional crown, Whiteford earns a spot in the exclusive USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships, becoming just the fourth men's tennis athlete to compete at the prestigious event. The University of Virginia was the host of the ITA Atlantic Regional at the Snyder Tennis Center.
"To have our first regional singles champion is a great accomplishment for the William and Mary program and for Jamie," head coach Peter Daub said. "The past five days, Jamie has put together all the intangibles along with his talent to become a champion. I look forward to him continuing that path at the national tournament in New York."
Facing his third nationally ranked opponent in as many days, Whiteford ratcheted up his play on the way to an impressive 6-3, 6-3 triumph over No. 18-ranked Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia, who was the evetn's No. 1 seed and had won the Atlantic Region singles crown in both 2009 and 2010. It marked Whiteford's seventh straight victory overall and sixth at the event, including his third versus nationally ranked competition. He tallied victories over back-to-back top-85 players from NCAA National Runner-up Virginia in the semifinals and fianls to claim the regional title and improved to 12-3 on the fall campaign. Jenkins entered the championship match against Whiteford with an impressive 11-1 record after advancing to the round of 16 at the ITA All-American Championships earlier this season.
Whiteford becomes the fourth W&M player to earn a spot in the National Indoor Championship, joining Jeff Kader (2003), Alex Cojanu (2006) and Colin O'Brien (2006). As a runner-up finisher in the ITA Mideast Regional in 2003, Kader earned a spot in the national indoor championship, while the doubles team of Cojanu and O'Brien won the 2006 ITA Mideast Regional doubles crown.
The USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships are slated for Nov. 3-6 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The second national championship event of the fall season will include a 32-player singles draw, which will be comprised of the 12 regional champions as well as select wild card and qualifying players. While Whiteford is competing in the indoor championship, the rest of the W&M squad will host the Tribe Invitational at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center, Nov. 4-6, in Williamsburg.