Alabama men’s tennis head coach George Husack released a strong 2019-20 schedule on Tuesday afternoon, which features 10 fall tournaments and 24 dual matches in the spring.
“We have an exciting and challenging schedule for us beginning this September,” Husack stated. “We’re looking forward to hosting a very strong Crimson Tide Four-In-The-Fall and then having the opportunity to host our first USTA $25k Futures event. We will have players compete at home, on the road and in a variety of tournaments with the primary focus being execution and competing in our daily practices.”
The Crimson Tide’s fall season opens with the annual Crimson Tide Four-In-The-Fall tournament on September 13-15 at the Alabama Tennis Stadium. The highly competitive event includes players from Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Tulane. Throughout the fall, individual players from UA will play in several tournaments, including junior Patrick Kaukovalta returning to the Milwaukee Tennis Classic on Sept. 20-23 after winning the singles championship in last year’s tournament.
The Tide will also travel to Birmingham for the annual CCB Collegiate Invitational on Nov. 1-3 and host the United States Tennis Association $25k Futures event at the Alabama Tennis Stadium from Nov. 11-17 to close out the fall season.
In 2020, the Crimson Tide will play 13 of its dual matches at home, beginning with a six-match home stand, which includes a doubleheader on opening day against UAB and Chattanooga (Jan. 18), followed by another two matches versus Samford and North Alabama (Jan. 20). UA will conclude its early season home stand against Dartmouth (Jan. 24) and Virginia Tech (Jan. 26). Alabama will also play its final non-conference regular season home match versus Tulsa on Feb. 7.
The Tide has its first matches away from home when its travels up north to Minneapolis for a neutral site contest against Drake (Jan. 31), before taking on host Minnesota (Feb. 2). Later in February, UA will compete in the 72nd annual Blue Gray National Tennis Classic in Montgomery, with the field yet to be announced.
Alabama begins Southeastern Conference play on the road at Florida (Feb. 28) and then against South Carolina (March 1). The Crimson Tide also has SEC road contests versus LSU (March 27), Texas A&M (March 29), Ole Miss (April 5) and Arkansas (April 12) to close out the regular season.
The Tide boasts a strong conference home slate beginning with five-straight matches in Tuscaloosa. UA hosts Kentucky (March 6), Vanderbilt (March 8), Auburn (March 15), Georgia (March 20) and Tennessee (March 22), before finishing up its home schedule against Mississippi State (April 3) for Senior Night.
“The Spring provides our community the chance to see a lot of home matches including a four-team dual match weekend in late January,” Husack said. “Our strong out-of-conference schedule coupled with our day-to-day training and focus in practice should prepare us well for the SEC season. I’m excited to have the guys back on campus soon and getting the process started.”
The 2020 SEC Men’s Tennis Championships will be held from April 15-19 in Fayetteville, Ark. The NCAA Tournament Regionals begin May 1-3 with the NCAA Super Regionals being played on either May 9 or May 10, and the NCAA Championships going from May 14-23 in Stillwater, Okla.
A total of 12 teams that were in the 2019 NCAA Tournament are on the Crimson Tide’s 2020 dual match schedule, including Dartmouth, Drake, Minnesota, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Alabama returns eight players from last year’s NCAA Tournament team, including three seniors in Edson Ortiz, Alexey Nesterov and Zhe Zhou.