Alabama Men’s Tennis Off to Best Start in Program History With a Pair of Wins on Sunday
The Alabama men’s tennis team is off to its best start in program history after defeating San Diego State 4-1 and then Lipscomb 4-0 on Sunday inside the Roberta Alison Baumgardner Tennis Facility.
The Crimson Tide (12-0) surpassed the 2003 team which held the previous record with 11 wins to begin the season, after picking up wins over the Aztecs (0-5) and Bison (2-3). The 12-game win streak also ties the longest win streak in program history when the Tide won 12-straight back in 1976.
“I’m very happy for the team and the program,” said head coach George Husack. “The coaches and support staff worked really hard and again we’re only 12 matches in so we have a long way to go, but I’m just happy for our recent success.”
Alabama started the day off by winning the doubles point, with the No. 22 doubles pair in the country in junior Mazen Osama and sophomore Edson Ortiz handling Andersen/Mitchell, 6-2. The duo of sophomore Zhe Zhou and freshman Riccardo Roberto clinched the doubles point for the Tide with a 6-1 victory over Hough/Gonzalez-Almazan to give Alabama the 1-0 lead.
In singles play against SDSU, Alabama took the early 3-0 lead after Ortiz dominated David Hough, 6-0, 6-0, while moments later Osama knocked off Santiago Cevallos, 6-3, 6-1. Later on after freshman Patrick Kaukovalta fell to Arnaud Restifo, 6-4, 6-1, sophomore Thibault Cancel edged Sander Andersen, 6-3, 7-6, (7-4) to give the Tide the 4-1 win.
In the second match of the day, the Tide remained perfect in doubles play with the freshman tandem of Sam Fischer and Grant Stuckey disposing of Tacconi/Uribe, 6-1, while Cancel/Nesterov took care of Ortegon/Cardenas to put UA up 1-0.
In singles competition, Nesterov and Ortiz extended their perfect records in singles play in 2018 with Nesterov defeating Pedro Uribe, 6-0, 6-2 and Ortiz pushing past Jorge, Ortegon, 6-1, 7-5. It was the freshman Stuckey who clinched the historic win for the Tide with a straight-set victory over George Wong, 6-4, 6-3.
The Tide will return to action at the Blue-Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 23-24.