By (Matthew Speakman)

Alabama men’s tennis will send five athletes to compete in the USTA Player’s Choice Open Tournament in Birmingham on Oct. 30.

Redshirt freshman Langford Hills and freshmen Matthew Rossouw and Spencer Richey will join sophomores Grayson Goldin and Korey Lovett to compete in the event. Assistant coach Ryler DeHeart will also be competing in the tournament.

“I just wanna go out there with a positive mindset and play aggressively,” said sophomore Grayson Goldin.

The tournament is a totally individual environment with no effect on the college rankings. It is a pro tournament for the athletes to compete in a setting that allows them to play to get better and improve.

“There is going to be a lot of good players,” Goldin said. “Even though it doesn’t count for college rankings, it is good for confidence and becoming better.”

This event gives the athletes the opportunity to gage themselves in a pro environment. They will be able to see how they compete with other players looking to go pro, or who already have gone pro. It can help the players keep rhythm for the season and continue to grow as a player.

Players will compete on a clay surface, which some athletes do not experience in many tournaments. This could provide a challenge for the athletes competing, because they are not used to the change in surface.

“It is a little bit different of a game,” said sophomore Korey Lovett. “The points are longer and it takes a lot more effort.”

This is Alabama’s fifth event this fall after competing in the Crimson Tide Four-In-The-Fall, the ITA All-American Championships, the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships, and the SEC Fall Classic.

Qualifying for singles play beings on Oct. 30, with the main draw for both singles and doubles being held on Nov. 3.

“The mindset is a little different, because it is all individual and you are not really competing for Alabama, you are competing for yourself,” Lovett said.

The event will take place Highland Park Tennis Center.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports