Two years after moving from Mexico, Edson Ortiz serves key role for men's tennisBy Zach Fidel | 02/23/2018 8:18am
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics
Edson Ortiz’s first glimpse of the University of Alabama was at 11 p.m. in the dark. He was being driven around campus by men’s tennis coach George Husack.
Ortiz, a native of Chihuahua, Mexico had just got back from visiting The University of Miami. He had fallen in love with Miami, who wouldn’t. However, there was just something about sweet home Alabama that made Ortiz feel this was the college for him.
“I came to visit Alabama right after I toured the University of Miami, when we were driving around at night I couldn’t see anything but I just got that feeling inside of me that told me this was it,” Ortiz said. “The next day when I was able to actually see the campus, I was blown away. It wasn’t a hard decision to make at that point.”
Two years later, Ortiz and the Crimson Tide are off to their best start in program history. Alabama is off to a 12-0 start, and is tied with the 1976 team for the longest active winning streak (12).
“I think this record breaking start is a testament to how hard each guy on this team works,” Husack said. “It also serves as a great builder of momentum and confidence going into the rest of our matches.”
From here on out, Alabama will be playing their matches outdoors instead of indoors. Coach Husack explained the primary differences a team faces switching to outdoor play.
“One of the biggest things we have to adjust to now are the elements of the weather, and the points are going to last longer,” Husack said. “It’s going to be more physical and draining, but we’re ready for it.”
One player who seems poised for more of a physical style of play is Mazen Osama. Osama, a junior from Cairo, Egypt made it a priority over the offseason to work on his physical game. The results have been showing on the court, as him and Ortiz are ranked the No. 22 doubles pair in the country.
“My game has improved tremendously from last year, I’m way more aggressive but most important I believe I am more fit than in year’s past,” Osama said. “Edson and I have a great relationship on and off the court, and its showing. I’m more of the mellow one, and he’s the player that gets everyone hyped up.”
The Crimson Tide will be back on the courts Feb.23-24 in Montgomery, Alabama.