February marks the triumphant return of collegiate tennis to the courts of the USTA National Campus with a number of marquee matchups slated to be showcased in Lake Nona.
First and foremost, the USTA National Campus will once again serve as the home courts for the UCF men’s and women’s tennis programs, both of which are looking to maintain momentum from successful 2017 campaigns. The men’s team, led by head coach John Roddick, reached the final of the American Conference championship and received its first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. Both the men’s and women’s team return key players from their 2017 rosters and will hope to defend their home courts in Lake Nona.
College MatchDay returns to the USTA National Campus in 2018 after an incredible 2017 slate that saw almost 6,000 fans attend six premier neutral-site matchups featuring some of the nation’s top programs. This year, College MatchDay expands to eight matches, taking place on six dates throughout the spring, starting with a rematch of the Florida-Florida State showdown that drew more than 1,700 fans a year ago. The two men’s teams will face off on Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m., this year joined by each school’s women’s programs as well. The Florida women are the defending national champions. As was the case last year, each College MatchDay is free to the public and will feature kids’ activities, live music, specialty food and drinks, games and giveaways.
On Saturday, Feb. 10, the men’s teams from Georgia and Georgia Tech will bring their in-state rivalry to Lake Nona for the second College MatchDay of the year, also squaring off under the lights at 7 p.m. The Oklahoma and Texas A&M men will conclude the February slate of College MatchDay at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25.
In addition to a full slate of home matches for UCF, the National Campus will play host to a variety of Florida schools, including Florida Atlantic, North Florida, and nearby Rollins College throughout the month of February. The National Campus also will host a number of Lake Nona High School matches.
A new offering at the USTA National Campus that local residents can take advantage of in February is training camps with International Tennis Hall-of-Famer and 17-time Grand Slam doubles champion GiGi Fernandez. Players will have the opportunity to learn the “GiGi Method” from Fernandez herself, who will be joined by USTA National Campus professional staff to administer these camps that are designed for an intimate and personalized learning experience with no more than four players per coach. The camps are offered as either one- or two-day options that include extensive on-court training, classroom discussions, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Campus. Lunch is provided, and those interested are encouraged to visit www.ustanationalcampus.com for pricing and availability. February dates for the one-day camps are Friday, Feb. 16, and Wednesday, Feb. 28, and there is a two-day camp being offered Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 12-13. Additional dates will be available throughout the spring.
In addition to the GiGi Fernandez camps, traditional USTA National Campus adult camps also are being offered, similar to those that debuted in the fall of 2017. Spring 2018 dates can be found on the campus website.