|Idaho duo draws Cal brothers|
FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y. -- Abid Akbar and Marius Cirstea begin the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships on Nov. 8, and after Cirstea teamed up with Andrew Dobbs to advance to the event last year, Idaho coach Jeff Beaman believes this year's duo is poised to make a run in the tournament.
"I am excited to go back to New York, and for Marius to make it two years in a row is something that is very rare to see," Beaman said. "He and Abid have the chance to compete against the very best in the country and I feel they can not only compete but win against some of the best doubles teams in the country."
Cirstea and Akbar open the 20-team draw against California's Ben McLachlan and Riki McLachlan. The winner of that match will advance to the round of 16, where Georgia Tech's Vikram Hundal and Juan Spir will be waiting. The McLachlan brothers - Riki, a senior, and Ben, a junior - earned their way into the tournament by winning the ITA Northwest Regional doubles championship. Ben, the No. 16 ranked singles player in the country, will also compete in the 32-player singles draw at the Indoor Championships.
The top overall seed is the draw is Auburn's duo of Daniel Cochrane and Andreas Mies, who were the 2012 ITA All-American champions. That pairing is on the opposite side of the draw of Cirstea and Akbar. The second and third seeds, Henrique Cunha and Raphael Hemmeler of Duke and Jarmere Jenkins and Mac Styslinger of Virginia, are on the same side of the draw as Cirstea and Akbar.
Action begins Thursday at 6 a.m. Pacific at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., home of the US Open. The round of 16 will follow the opening round on Thursday, with the quarterfinals beginning at 6 a.m. Pacific on Friday, the semifinals at 6 a.m. Pacific on Saturday and the finals at 7 a.m. Pacific on Sunday.
Columbia, which is hosting the tournament, has two doubles pairings in the event.