TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama men's tennis team dominated Auburn 4-0 on Wednesday night at the Alabama Tennis Stadium to move on to the second round of the 2018 SEC Men's Tennis Tournament.
"It was a great match for us," head coach George Husack said. "I thought that the off-weekend might have been a bad thing for us, but as it turned out, it was a great thing. We did a really good job tonight."
The No. 12-seed Crimson Tide will advance to take on No. 5-seed Kentucky on Thursday, April 26 at 4 p.m. CT in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tide fell to the Wildcats 4-0 earlier this year on March 4 in Tuscaloosa.
The win marks the first SEC Tournament victory for Alabama since 2013 when the Tide defeated Arkansas, 4-2, in the first round.
In doubles play, Alabama got off to a hot start with sophomore Zhe Zhou and freshman Patrick Kaukovalta taking care of business at the No. 3 spot against De Vincentis/Rodriguez, 6-2. Shortly after, the sophomore tandem of Alexey Nesterov and Thibault Cancel moved past Nguyen/Chavarria, 6-3, to clinch the doubles point.
In singles competition, Kaukovalta moved swiftly past Edward Nguyen, 6-2, 6-0, while Nesterov dominated Brandon Laubser on at the No. 5 spot, 6-0, 6-1, to give the Tide the 3-0 advantage. Junior Mazen Osama, who is the No. 18-ranked singles player in the country, picked up his seventh win over a nationally-ranked opponent to close out the match, as he defeated No. 85 Matteo De Vincentis, 6-3, 6-3.