The No. 44 Alabama men’s tennis team fell to No. 28 Kentucky, 4-0, at the Alabama Tennis Center on Sunday. The Crimson Tide is now 14-3 overall and 0-2 in SEC play.
“Every weekend is going to be a physical and emotional challenge,” head coach George Husack said. “We just didn’t have as much energy today compared to Friday night’s match, but those were the cards we were dealt and we have to be able to do our best with that. Kentucky played a really good match and they looked a lot more fresh than we did, but at the end of the day we need to respond at a higher level than what we did today.”
In doubles play, the score was tied 1-1 after the No. 34 pair of junior Mazen Osama and sophomore Edson Ortiz defeated Bourgois/Benson, 6-1, while freshman Riccardo Roberto and sophomore Zhe Zhou fell to Bushamaka/Hussey moments later, 6-1.
It was all up to the No. 40-ranked tandem of sophomores Thibault Cancel and Alexey Nesterov who battled back from a 5-2 deficit only to fall in the tiebreaker, 7-6 (8-6).
Meanwhile in singles action, Kentucky continued to extend the lead on the Tide with No. 115 Enzo Wallert defeating freshman Patrick Kaukovalta, 6-3, 6-3, while No. 63 Ryotaro Matsumara beat No. 113 Mazen Osama, 6-4, 7-5, to push the advantage to 3-0. Kento Yamada clinched the match for the Wildcats (8-4, 1-0 SEC) with his victory over Nesterov 7-6 (7-0), 6-4.
The Crimson Tide will return to action on Friday, Mar. 9 as they travel to Baton Rouge, La., for their first SEC road match against LSU. The match will begin at 4 p.m. CT.