Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama displays strong singles play at annual Four-In-The-Fall tournament

Elijah McWhorter
Alabama men’s tennis player Andrii Zimnockh sets the ball during the Four in the Fall tournament on Sept. 29 at the Alabama Tennis Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama men’s tennis hosted its annual Four-In-The-Fall tournament and welcomed players from Louisville, Tulane and Middle Tennessee to Tuscaloosa this past weekend to compete in the three-day tournament, which ended with both Alabama teams in the finals.  

This tournament included four players from each school, divided into two doubles teams and then split up during singles play. Each day started with doubles and then moved to singles to end the day. This tournament had a compass draw format, meaning that when players lose, they are moved into a new bracket where they keep playing. To advance, a doubles team must win two of the three matches.  

On opening day of the Four-In-The-Fall tournament, the Crimson Tide had a strong start as both the Alabama Crimson, including junior Zach Foster and sophomore Roan Jones, and the Alabama White, including sophomore Yair Sarouk and freshman Andrii Zimnokh, won their doubles play. In singles play, the Crimson Tide won three of the four matches, with the only loss coming from Foster, who retired in the match.  

“Day one, in my opinion, whatever you did its lucky, tomorrow you have to back it up,” head coach George Husack said. “People don’t care who you are. They just want to beat Alabama, and we have to be able to embrace that.” 

The second day brought some personnel changes for the Alabama Crimson team as Matias Ponce De Leon replaced Foster, who did not return to play. The second day started off with losses for both doubles teams, but then ended by winning all the singles matches. Getting the first win of the day for the Crimson Tide, Ponce De Leon won in a fast-action two-set match, letting him rest while watching his doubles teammate Jones got the hard-fought three-set win in the longest singles match of the day.  

“We had to back it up today, and it really wasn’t that enjoyable for me to watch, because the guys were struggling, and that’s where they need to keep growing,” Husack said.  

The Alabama White team also had similar singles play after losing in doubles play. Getting the second win for the Crimson Tide, Zimnokh won a two-set victory.  

The last singles match of the day for the White team was a back-to-back three-set win by Yair Sarouk that had the team and Husack yelling “bowl of mixed fruit,” what seemed to be a tactic used to help Sarouk focus and come out with the win.  

“‘Bowl of mixed fruit’ was for Yair. He can get pretty one-dimensional, he can do a lot of different things, so it was my way of telling him to mix it up,” Husack said. 

The final day had both Alabama teams in the finals after the first two rounds of play. The Alabama Crimson team came out victorious after beating the White team 7-5 in an evenly paced match.  

In singles, Jones beat Sarouk to clinch the win for the Crimson team, and then Ponce De Leon beat Zimnokh to leave the Crimson team 3-0 on the final day.  

“It’s not often you have teammates play against one another, but it’s always good to see how they compete in these moments and what type of statement they want to bring into the locker room,” Husack said. “We will continue to sharpen our tools and commitment over the next 10 days as we prepare for regionals.” 

Overall, the Crimson Tide finished 7-1 in singles play and 2-2 in doubles play with an overall record of 9-3 against other teams. The total record, including the last day, when both Alabama teams played each other, was 12-6.  

More to Discover