By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
While ESPN’s College Gameday was in Lexington yesterday spotlighting the Kentucky vs. Missouri men’s basketball game, the United States Tennis Association’s new series College MatchDay embarked on Gainesville, Fla., preparing for its inaugural broadcast.
The new series, which will highlight a number of premier men’s and women’s college tennis matches this season, will debut Sunday in Gainesville, featuring the No. 4 Florida women and the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal, two perennial powers in the sport of women’s tennis.
College MatchDay will organize activities and local outreach surrounding the host team’s campus. Additionally, the match, which begins at 11 a.m. ET, will be broadcast live on RadioTennis.com.
College MatchDay couldn’t have picked a better first location for its premiere, as the two programs have combined to win 22 NCAA Team Championships, with Stanford claiming 16 and Florida taking home six. The Gators have won the last two women’s tennis national titles.
“I think it’s great for college tennis that we’re able to play during the regular season,” Florida head coach Roland Thornqvist said. “The history of our two programs going back and forth is what makes it so special and I’m hoping we’ll have a huge crowd behind us.”
This season, College MatchDay will also visit Charlottesville, Va., when the University of Virginia men host Duke University on March 22. College MatchDay will feature a team match every week beginning in 2014.
“There is so much great competition in college tennis, and we’re thrilled to be able to spotlight some of the game’s finest teams, players and coaches with College MatchDay,” said Virgil Christian, USTA Director, Collegiate Tennis and Market Development. “We’ve got four of America’s finest college tennis programs launching College MatchDay this season, and we’re looking forward to growing the series in the years to come.”