Alabama men's tennis keeps undefeated season alive with win over PepperdineBy Zach Fidel | 02/10/2018 10:23am
Alabama Junior Mazen Osama celebrated his 23rd birthday tonight. A win wasn’t the only gift he received Friday night.
Osama who is 6,000 miles away from his home in Cairo, Egypt got to see a friend from his hometown who was playing for the other team. Yusuf Khamis, a freshman for Pepperdine University and Osama have known each other forever.
“Yusuf and I played in some tournaments back home in Cairo, and our friendship has grown since then,” Osama said. “We got a chance to catch up before the match, and him being a freshman and having just left Egypt I told him what to expect living out here in the United States.”
The Crimson Tide kept their undefeated season alive Friday night with a victory against Pepperdine, 6-1. This win pushes their record to 10-0, now two wins away from the program record.
In doubles, the Crimson Tide usually find themselves starting off fast. That wasn’t the case this time as the sophomore duo of Alexey Nesterov and Thibault Cancel lost their match 6-1. Nesterov and Cancel were undefeated this spring in doubles play before this lost.
However, when Alabama needs a spark Edson Ortiz or Mazen Osama are usually there to start it. This time, it was both of them. Fresh off their No. 22 ranking, Ortiz and Osama dominated their doubles match. They secured a point for Alabama by defeating Brian Berdusco and Nicholas Baez in convincing fashion, 6-4.
“I’m very pumped that we got ranked in doubles, I feel like him (Ortiz) and I make a great duo,” Osama said. “Edson and I have a great connection on the court.”
When it was time for singles, the Crimson Tide didn’t let down. The sophomores Cancel, Nesterov and Ortiz were the first one’s done with their single matches clinching the victory for Alabama. Coach George Husack is a West Coast native, and was all too familiar with Pepperdine.
“My first 12 years as a coach I lost, and got killed by Pepperdine every year,” Husack said. “This was my first time beating them as an Alabama head coach, but we played one tough game. It was a great test for us, I’m glad we were pushed a little tonight.”
Alabama will have a doubleheader on Sunday as they will face San Diego State and Lipscomb.