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College Feature
One-Day Showdown at Michigan State

No umpires, no T-shirts, no trophies, no ranking points. Sound like something new in junior tennis competition? It is. Called Campus Match Play One-Day Tennis Showdowns, the initiative was created by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and USTA to provide both college and junior players an opportunity to interact in a low-cost, highly concentrated day of competition on college campuses across the country.

MSU Coach Jardim checks in the Wickman sisters
© ZooTennis.com
At the East Lansing showdown last Saturday, Michigan State women's head coach Simone Jardim served as the tournament director, juggling two compass draws of 16 singles players each and a 16-team doubles draw, while collecting $10 bills, the cost for a day's worth of singles match (doubles cost another $5 each.) A match is decided in one set, with a tiebreaker at 5-5 if necessary, with each player guaranteed four matches in both singles and doubles.

The 32 players who arrived at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility as dawn broke on the sunny football Saturday ranged from high school freshmen to AARP-eligible Open players from the area. Originally designated a women's event, Jardim switched to a coed format the week before, citing an increased level of competition the would benefit the 13 Division I women's players - six from Michigan State and seven from Western Michigan University - who had signed up to play.

"Usually women college players don't get to play against men and boys, so I think that was fun for them," said Jardim, who appreciated the opportunity to provide her players with additional practice while staying within NCAA guidelines. "They get to play more matches, and especially in the fall, that's what we need. The kids from the area get to come and see the school, play against college players and see how they like it."

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