The University of Illinois hit a service winner in the host category for the NCAA championship tennis tournament.
Two weeks of first-class college tennis wrapped up Monday, when the NCAA winners were crowned and the UI formally passed its test as a first-time host for this prestigious event.
About all that needs to be said to the tournament participants and hosts is this: great job.
Of course, the weather could have been more cooperative. Nonetheless, UI hosts attended to all the important details for staging the event and the players took it from there.
For local tennis fans, the event offered a cornucopia of delight — top male and female players at their competitive best with team and individual honors on the line. For local businesses, the tennis fans who visited the Champaign-Urbana community provided a welcome economic boost. And for the UI, it was a chance to prove that the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex is a worthy site for hosting an event of this nature and that the athletic department is up to the job.
Events like this don't come around very often. In previous years, the UI has hosted lesser NCAA tournament events in various sports, including tennis and volleyball, and proved itself up to the task. But hosting a championship event, particularly one of two weeks' duration, is an altogether different challenge.
It takes incredible planning and attention to detail, and that's what was on display.