IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa redshirt freshman Kareem Allaf competed in one of the premier international team events in men’s tennis last month, the 2016 Davis Cup.
The competition, run by the International Tennis Federation, is an event that has been contested annually for over a century between teams from multiple countries in a knock-out format. This event was held on clay courts in Tehran, Iran.
Allaf competed for the country of Syria, winning all four singles matches and splitting two doubles matches. Syria competed in Group III Asia/Oceania, where there was one pool of four teams (Pool A) and one pool of five teams (Pool B).
“Kareem competed and represented his country very well in Davis Cup,” said UI head coach Ross Wilson. “He went 4-0 in singles, defeating two world ranked opponents. His summer schedule combined with Davis Cup and ITF Futures will have him ready to compete at a high level this fall.”
After going 3-1 in Group B with victories over Cambodia, Qatar, and Singapore, Syria matched up against Iran with the winner being promoted to Group 2 and the loser staying in Group 3. Syria was edged by Iran, 2-1.
In Syria’s 3-0 win over Singapore, Allaf helped the cause with a 6-0, 6-4, victory over Roy Hobbs (ATP 2092/UTR 12.22) at No. 2 singles.
The next day, Allaf bounced Mubarak Shannan Zayid (UTR 13.28/ATP 1356) of Qatar at No. 2 singles position, 6-7(2), 7-5, 6-4 in Syria’s 2-1 win.
On July 14, Syria won its third consecutive match of the event, this time downing Cambodia, 3-0. Allaf won his No. 2 singles match, 6-1, 6-3, over Phalkun Mam, and partnered with Amer Naow to beat Tan Nysan/Samnearng Long in a doubles match, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
On July 15, Syria lost its first match of the event, falling 3-0 to Lebanon. Allaf did not play singles, but lost a 6-2, 6-3, decision in doubles with Naow to Hady Habib/Jad Ballout.
In Syria’s final match on July 16, Iran edged Syria, 2-1. Allaf notched Syria’s only point with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, win over Shahin Khaledan (UTR 13.74/ATP 1015).
Syria will next compete in Group 3 Asia/Oceania again in January, 2017.