Jan. 19, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 34th-ranked men's tennis team will head to Boca Raton, Fla., to take on the USTA Boys National Team on Thursday, Jan. 20. As part of its trip to Florida, the Crimson Tide will also take part in the USTA Futures event that begins Friday, Jan. 21.
"We're excited about the opportunity to play the USTA Boys National Team," Alabama head coach Billy Pate said. "This is an elite group of the best 18-and-under players in the U.S. that have aspirations of playing professionally. It should be a highly competitive match pitting their talents against some of our guys who are older. We're grateful that USTA Player Development is giving us this opportunity. It will also be unique as we'll be playing the match on clay at the USTA headquarters."
Eight members of the Tide's squad will make the trip to Florida including senior Trey Walston, juniors Ricky Doverspike, Vikram Reddy and Michael Thompson, sophomores Jarryd Botha and Ian Chadwell and freshmen Daniil Proskura and Carlos Taborga.
The match against the USTA Boys National Team will be set up similar to a dual match, while the USTA Futures event is a tournament with qualifying rounds and a main draw. Individuals will have to win 3-4 matches throughout the weekend in order to advance to the main draw, which begins on Monday.
"Playing in the USTA Futures is one of the events we wanted to add to our schedule and take part in as a team," Pate added. "Obviously we'll play as amateurs for this event, but many of our guys have a desire to play professionally after college, and this gives them a good opportunity to earn ATP points that can help them gain access to these events in the summer and after college."
These two opportunities will serve as Alabama's final events prior to the start of dual match play. The Tide will take part in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's annual Kick-off Weekend that begins Jan. 29 when Alabama plays Rice at 10 a.m. CT.
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