IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s tennis junior Kareem Allaf won the ITA Central Regional singles championship a few weeks ago; he won six straight singles matches in four days, including two against ranked opponents.
Allaf became just the third Hawkeye to accomplish the feat in school history, joining Bryan Crowley (1994) and Tyler Cleveland (1999). Allaf is the first player in program history to win the Central Regional title. Allaf is also the first Hawkeye to compete in the fall national championships since Cleveland in 1999.
This week, Allaf will head West to the Oracle National Fall Championships, formally known as the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Allaf is also one of ten Big Ten student-athletes competing in the singles tournament.
Mellecker Family Head Men’s Tennis Coach Ross Wilson will be traveling with Allaf as he was a part of the only doubles team in college tennis history to win the event in back-to-back years at Ohio State in 2005 and 2006.
The event will take place at the Surprise Tennis and Racquet Complex. This men’s tournament features the 64 best collegiate singles in the country. It serves as an elite finish line for the fall portion of the collegiate tennis season.
“The only way to guarantee your way into this tournament is to win one of the 16 regional tournaments around the country,” said Wilson. “Obviously winning a tournament at this level in tennis, in general is extremely difficult. That’s pretty prestigious and also to be one of the top 64 players in the country is special.”
“Coming to college I’ve always thought about going to this tournament and how exciting it would be,” said Allaf. “Now it’s a reality so it’s not something I can take for granted.”
Allaf enters the tournament riding a successful sophomore campaign and a seven-match win streak, dating back to Oct. 2.
“I’m excited to play against tough competition,” said Allaf. “I have never been around so many good players at once in a college atmosphere and I’m pumped just to get out there and play again.”
Allaf will square off in the Round of 64 against a ranked opponent looking to extend his win streak against ranked foes to three, the longest of his career.
“There are great players from all over the country so it’s another opportunity to pick up some quality wins and hopefully move up the rankings,” Allaf said.
Fans can follow Allaf’s historic run with updates from the ITA Oracle National Fall Championships beginning Nov. 7, on the official twitter account of Iowa men’s tennis @IowaMensTennis and on the official Instagram account @iowamenstennis.