ATHENS, Ga. (April 20, 2022)-- The 13th-seeded Alabama men's tennis team won four singles matches Wednesday in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament at Georgia's Magill Tennis Complex to claim a 4-3 decision over 12th-seeded Vanderbilt and advance to the second round of the tournament.
Graduate transfer Juan Martin, came-from-behind on court five to take a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 win for the deciding point and the Alabama victory. Prior to the win from Martin, 32nd-ranked Filip Planinsek won in straight sets against 35th-ranked George Harwell on court one, Enzo Aguiard clinched a second-set tiebreaker to defeat 105th ranked Joubert Klopper on court two and German Samofalov battled through three sets to defeat Siim Troost on court four.
From Head Coach George Husack
"To have Juan (Martin) in a situation to clinch a match in what could have been his last match is very special. Our guys are very young and have been fighting all year. There's been no knock down rule after a tough weekend of losses. It's very special to have this for them because they've gotten better every weekend. They've never gone away despite whatever seed or number of losses we've had all year."
- Both teams opened the match strong, swapping points on all three doubles courts but the Commodores found some late momentum to take both courts one and three, respectively, at 6-4 for the opening point
- Vanderbilt opened singles action with a win on court three to move ahead 2-0 in the match
- No. 32 ranked Planinsek put Alabama on the board with mirroring 6-3 decisions at No. 1 for a straight set victory over No. 35 ranked Harwell
- After trailing 6-5 in the second set, Enzo Aguiard battled to take the next game and the tiebreaker on court two to defeat 105th-ranked Klopper 6-4, 7-6 (4) to even the overall match score
- German Samofalov followed moments later with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Siim Troost on court four to give Alabama the lead but Vanderbilt's three set win on court six forced the two teams into a 3-3 tie
- Martin fell in his opening set 6-3 to Marcus Ferreira but came back to take sets two and three 6-4, 6-4 to win at No. 5 singles and secure the victory for the Crimson Tide
From Juan Martin
"Every match was very tight, very close. So, I knew that I had to stay in there and try to fight for the guys and just try my best to stay in the match. I wasn't feeling great or playing very well but got the win and I'm happy with it. Now, just enjoy the win for a couple hours and get ready, recover and get a good night's sleep."