Pecotic Selected for NCAA Individual Singles Championship
For the second straight year, Matija Pecotic has been selected for the NCAA individual singles championship.
As the only Ivy Leaguer in either the singles or doubles competition, Pecotic, ranked No. 15 on the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association list, is in the group of No. 9-16 seeds after the top eight seeded players in the 64-man field.
Competition will begin May 22 at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill. One round will be played each day through the final on May 27. Already a three-time All-Ivy Leaguer and a two-time Ivy League Player of the Year, Pecotic may become the league's first three-time Ivy Player of the Year when those awards are announced tomorrow.
Only the list of participants in the championship was announced Wednesday. The actual draw will be announced the day before the event begins.
A year ago, Pecotic was ranked 118th in the nation heading into the singles championship and lost to 53rd-ranked Nassim Sillam of Florida in the first round, 6-4, 6-4.
Though Pecotic is currently 15th in the nation, another ITA ranking will come out May 2 as the final chart before the championship begins. Pecotic was 26-2 in fall singles including 13-1 against ITA-ranked opponents. In the fall, Pecotic won tournament titles at the Princeton/Farnsworth Invitational, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Men's College Invitational, the USTA/ITA Northeast Regional and the Texas Fall Invitational. Pecotic also became the first Princeton player since 1982 and first Ivy Leaguer since 1998 to advance to the semifinals at the ITA All-America tournament, counting a win over then-No. 9 Raymond Sarmiento of USC in the quarterfinals. Pecotic closed the fall season with the consolation singles title at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate tournament.
In the spring, Pecotic went 16-3 in singles duals and was ranked in the ITA top 10 nationally from January through late April, checking in as high as No. 2 in the nation in the first poll of the dual-meet season. He enters the championship on a nine-match winning streak including 7-0 in Ivy duals as he extended his streak in Ivy dual singles matches to 22 straight since the final match of his freshman year.
The Tigers, ranked No. 47 on the last ITA team list released on April 23, just missed out on being included in the NCAA team field announced Tuesday as only Ivy automatic bid winner Harvard was included. Princeton could end the season in the national top 50 for the first time since 1995 when the final list is posted after the NCAA championships come to a close.