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Top seeds ready if NCAAs shift indoors | Sports | news-gazette.com – News-Gazette

URBANA — The conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for the first two days of the NCAA singles and doubles championships at Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Plenty of sunshine. Temperatures in the upper 60s and into the mid-70s. A gentle breeze.

Ideal tennis weather.

The rest of the week doesn’t guarantee the same. The start time Wednesday has already been bumped up one hour to 9 a.m. based on potential weather issues. Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday morning turning into thunderstorms by early afternoon.

Starting an hour early becomes a necessity with 32 matches scheduled for Wednesday between Sweet 16 action for men’s and women’s singles doubles.

Being forced to move into Atkins Tennis Center cuts the number of available courts in half from 12 to six.

High winds and seemingly constant rainfall sent the NCAA team championships indoors throughout last week.

Having to make that move again this week will be old hat for the singles players and doubles teams that are competing in both.

“Thankfully, we were here for the team tournament,” Virginia women’s coach Sara O’Leary said Tuesday. “We practiced indoors one day and played our match against Texas indoors. We didn’t know last Friday when we played Texas if we were going to be in or out an hour before the match. We’ve been in these positions. Every match we played in the NCAA tournament in the team event, we didn’t know if we were going to be outside or inside.”

Adjusting on the fly, then, won’t be an issue for Virginia sophomore Emma Navarro. The reigning NCAA singles champion advanced to the Sweet 16 with Tuesday’s 6-4, 7-6 victory against Georgia Tech’s Carol Lee, and she’s ready to head indoors to keep her hopes of a title defense alive if necessary.

“I feel like us tennis players have had a lot of practice with being flexible,” Navarro said. “We’re always dealing with the rain. Florida in the summer in junior tournaments, it’s raining one minute and it’s sunny and 110 degrees the next. It’s being flexible and being up for anything.”

A willingness to be adaptable is only part of the equation. Indoor tennis is different than outdoor tennis. Not drastically, but enough that the outcomes of matches can be affected.

“It’s faster,” Navarro said. “More aggressive players, I would say, get rewarded. You have to be super dynamic, super low to the ground. It’s definitely a different game. It takes a little bit of adjusting, but I feel like I’ve tried to develop myself into an all-court player to play on different surfaces.”

Navarro’s style of play does set up well for the indoor game if that move becomes necessary. That approximately half of Virginia’s matches in a single season are indoors doesn’t hurt, either.

“She hits a big ball,” O’Leary said of Navarro. “I think it’s probably a little bit tougher for her opponent seeing that ball indoors. One of Emma’s strengths is her defense, and it’s faster for her, too, inside. Either way, she’s ready. At UVA, we’re inside almost half of the season. She’s played a lot of indoor tennis, so I don’t think it will be much of a factor.”

Florida’s Ben Shelton also isn’t overly concerned if his …….

Source: https://www.news-gazette.com/sports/top-seeds-ready-if-ncaas-shift-indoors/article_6b4c39d4-c60b-590e-b45d-511ed0a85707.html

URBANA — The conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for the first two days of the NCAA singles and doubles championships at Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Plenty of sunshine. Temperatures in the upper 60s and into the mid-70s. A gentle breeze.

Ideal tennis weather.

The rest of the week doesn’t guarantee the same. The start time Wednesday has already been bumped up one hour to 9 a.m. based on potential weather issues. Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday morning turning into thunderstorms by early afternoon.

Starting an hour ear…….

URBANA — The conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for the first two days of the NCAA singles and doubles championships at Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex.

Plenty of sunshine. Temperatures in the upper 60s and into the mid-70s. A gentle breeze.

Ideal tennis weather.

The rest of the week doesn’t guarantee the same. The start time Wednesday has already been bumped up one hour to 9 a.m. based on potential weather issues. Rain is in the forecast for Wednesday morning turning into thunderstorms by early afternoon.

Starting an hour ear…….

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