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

Crimson Tide Tennis teams fall short in NCAA Tourney


All good things must come to an end for senior tennis star Saketh Myneni. His run at a NCAA singles championship ended when he lost to Georgia Tech’s Guillermo Gomez in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, May 27. Myneni kept a tight match against the No. 4 seed but fell short with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 loss.

“He had a real opportunity in the first set, and it was close,” said men’s head coach Billy Pate. “Both players held their serve and in the tie breaker Myneni was up 3-2. He missed a couple of routine volleys and that ultimately gave Gomez the win. In the second set he dug himself in a hole before coming back to rally later on in the set.”

Gomez eventually came out on top, winning the match. This loss ended not only Myneni’s season but also his career at Alabama.

Myneni has come a long way since his freshman year. During his four years with the Tide, he was never 100 percent healthy, but he quickly proved he could win matches no matter what the circumstances were.

This past season, Myneni played with a shoulder injury, but it wasn’t the main cause for his loss at the tournament.

“I would say the injury affected my match a little bit,” Myneni said. “It was really hard to play back-to-back day matches as you have a short recovery time. I had a tough match against a good player and just came up short on that day.”

Myneni’s game matured during his career at the University, and Pate soon discovered he was going to be a great asset for the team.

“As a freshman he started out playing the number six spot, and by his sophomore year he was playing at the number one spot,” Pate said. “He developed more as a player and became more solid. He pulled out a lot of matches that were on the line for the team.”

Myneni is returning to Alabama in the fall to finish up his undergraduate degree. He is majoring in finance and economics and is set to graduate in December. After graduating, one of his goals is to play in the Indian Davis Cup.

He has to play in the professional circuit for that dream to come true, but Myneni has showed his fans and team during his years at Alabama that anything is possible no matter how many obstacles he has to face.

Freshman Alexa Guarachi closed out her NCAA Singles Championship hopes by losing to Stanford freshman Mallory Burdette in the first round, losing 6-1, 6-3.

“Alexa had a very good year and battled her way to the top of the lineup,” women’s head coach Jenny Mainz said. “She is very competitive, but Stanford’s Mallory Burdette played really well with a lot of confidence. Alexa played and trained well but at this tournament everyone is good and deserves to be there. There isn’t a bad player.”

Guarachi’s singles season came to an end, but she still had the NCAA doubles tournament to look forward to with her partner, sophomore Courtney McLane.

The duo advanced to the Round of 16 after they defeated Boise State senior Pichittra Thongdach and junior Lauren Megale. Guarachi and McLane won in three sets 6-3, 5-7, 6-1.

“Coming into the doubles tournament, Guarachi and McLane were ranked 17th in the country,” Mainz said. “Boise State is a quality team, but our girls played a better match.”

In the Round of 16, Guarachi and McLane ended their season with a loss to Stanford senior Lindsay Burdette and junior Hilary Barte. The Cardinal twosome was the No. 2 seed and finished the match in just two sets 6-3, 6-2.

“Stanford is a very experienced and poised team,” Mainz said. “They were consistent, solid and executed very well throughout the match. Stanford didn’t have a weakness, and they didn’t miss a lot.”

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