Alabama splits weekend gamesBy Mike Schwartz | 04/01/2017 11:33pm
In a Saturday matinee, the Alabama men's tennis team took on both the No. 21 South Carolina Gamecocks then Jackson State. First, the Crimson Tide fell in a close contest to South Carolina 4-3, then regathered to beat Jackson State 4-0. Alabama’s record now stands at 9-14 with a 1-8 record in SEC play.
For Alabama the first matchup of the day was against South Carolina. The Crimson Tide was able to get on the board first as it grabbed the doubles point. The first doubles victory was thanks to Sam Swank and Alex Fennell as they defeated Alexey Nesterov and Thibault Cancel 6-4 on court one. The Crimson Tide got the equalizer soon after as freshmen Edson Ortiz and Zhe Zhou who won topped Gabriel Friedrich and Andrew Schafer 6-4. Alabama’s duo Mazen Osama and Spencer Richey came through in the clutch in their 7-5 win to get the point in the last match.
The Crimson Tide carried a 1-0 lead into singles play, but Harrison O'Keefe quickly tied up the match with his win in straights set win over Cancel 6-1, 6-1. Senior Ritchie Kruunenberg fell to Fennell, 6-3, 6-2, to give the Gamecocks a 2-1 match advantage. Slowing the Gamecock momentum, Alabama answered with a win to tie the score at 2, courtesy of a win by Osama 7-6, 6-0 over Friedrich. Nesterov defeated Schafer 7-5, 7-5 giving Alabama a 3-2 match advantage. South Carolina rallied and scored back to back points to seize the match with wins by Dennis over Richey 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. Paul Jubb took down Zhou 7-6, 7-6, giving the Gamecocks the win in the final match.
Alabama took care of business in doubles play against Jackson State, as Osama and Cancel topped Ryan Wanier and Fritz Jacobs 6-1. Hayes Brewer and Langford Hills defeated Vishu Prasad and Stylianos Gkontsaris on court three, 6-2, to clinch the doubles point.
Carrying a 1-0 lead into singles play, Kruunenberg extended Alabama's lead after a quick win in straight sets over Stylianos Gkontsaris, 6-3, 6-0. The Crimson Tide did not look back as Hills took down Federico Mendeita Ruiz 6-4, 6-0, to give a 3-0 match advantage. Nesterov clinched the 4-0 match victory for Alabama, as he defeated Joan Sanson 6-1, 6-1.
Alabama will be traveling to Nashville, Tenn., on Friday, April 7, to face-off against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The match will begin at 4 p.m.