No. 18 Tigers Fall to No. 20 Alabama 5-2 in Tuscaloosa

by Robert Quiroga
No. 18 Tigers Fall to No. 20 Alabama 5-2 in Tuscaloosa

Tuscaloosa, AL. — The No. 18 LSU men’s tennis team fell to the No. 20 Alabama Crimson Tide, 5-2, Friday evening at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.

With the loss, LSU drops to 11-2 on the season in the SEC season opener.

Co-Head Coach Chris Brandi on the Match
“Tough one today,” LSU co-head coach Chris Brandi said. “Alabama seized the momentum much better than we did. When you play better teams, you get fewer opportunities and today we just dug too deep a hole. We’ll learn from this and get better.”

Doubles Point
The Tigers opened up with a 6-2 victory at the No. 3 Doubles, as the freshmen duo of Boris Kozlov and Nick Watson beat the pair of Edson Ortiz and Zhe Zhou.

In No. 2 doubles, the pair of Alexey Nesterov and Thibault Cancel took a 6-3 match from LSU senior Shane Monroe and freshman Daniel Moreno to tie the doubles point up, 1-1.

The Crimson Tide captured the doubles point at No.1 doubles as Mazen Osama and Patrick Kaukovalta defeated the duo of junior Rafael Wagner and sophomore Joey Thomas, 6-4.

Singles Results
Alabama nabbed the 2-0 lead after No. 40 Osama took a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 win from No. 112 Monroe at the No. 1 singles.

Ortiz would extend Alabama’s lead to 3-0 following a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Wagner at the No. 2 singles.

Riccardo Roberto clinched the match for Alabama with a 7-6(4), 6-3 win at the No. 6 singles over Watson to make it 4-0.

Koslov came from behind to earn a point for LSU, beating Zhe Zhou 1-6, 6-1, and 7-5 at the No. 4 singles, while Bhatnagar grabbed LSU’s second point of the night, beating No. 108 Kaukovalta 6-4, 7-6(3) at the No. 3 singles.

Nesterov earned the final point of the evening at the No. 5 singles, beating Thomas 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

Next Up
LSU continues its road weekend with a match at Noon CT Sunday in Auburn against the Auburn Tigers.
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#20 Alabama 5, #18 LSU 2

Singles competition 
1. #40 Mazen Osama (ALA) def. #112 Shane Monroe (LSU) 6-2, 6-2
2. Edson Ortiz (ALA) def. Rafael Wagner (LSU) 6-2, 7-5
3. Malik Bhatnagar (LSU) def. Patrick Kaukovalta (ALA) 6-4, 7-6(3)
4. Boris Kozlov (LSU) def. Zhe Zhou (ALA) 1-6, 6-1, 7-5
5. Alexey Nesterov (ALA) def. Joey Thomas (LSU) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
6. Riccardo Robert (ALA) def. Nick Watson (LSU) 7-6, 6-3

Doubles competition 
1. Mazen Osama/Patrick Kaukovalta (ALA) def. Rafael Wagner/Joey Thomas (LSU) 6-4
2. Alexey Nesterov/Thibault Cancel (ALA) def. Shane Monroe/Daniel Moreno (LSU) 6-3
3. Boris Kozlov/Nick Watson (LSU) def. Edson Ortiz/Zhe Zhou (ALA) 6-2

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (1,2,6,4,3,5)