IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s tennis student-athlete Kareem Allaf has already had a busy summer preparing for his senior year.
Allaf competed in two pro tournaments in Champaign, Illinois, and Wichita, Kansas, prior to traveling 9,000 miles to Singapore to represent Syria and the Hawkeyes in the Davis Cup last month. Before leaving for Singapore, Allaf advanced to the Round of 16 in tournaments in Champaign and Wichita, including bouncing the No. 598 ranked player in the world.
At the Davis Cup, Allaf propelled Syria to a three-match sweep in pool play, winning his first three singles and doubles matches prior to dropping his final singles match versus a player representing Vietnam. The native of Dubai, UAE, said it was a challenging week physically playing two matches each day.
“The Davis Cup is a high pressured situation and every single match counts,” said Allaf. “It was an amazing experience.”
Allaf’s favorite moment at the Davis Cup was when his team advanced after sweeping pool play.
“After four years of trying to get promoted, I was able to achieve that goal,” Allaf said. “Our last group match against Malaysia was crucial for us to be automatically promoted. We were down 0-1 and I was able to win my singles and win the doubles match to clinch the win.
“It was a goal I set for myself this summer and I was very happy to play some great tennis and put the team in such a position.”
As Allaf continues to put in time preparing for his senior season, he feels like he is in the best state of mind and the best shape physically.
“I am playing some great tennis right now but I hope to start peaking when January arrives,” said Allaf. “I have to trust the process and keep the positive energy. The results will follow.”
DAVIS CUP (JUNE 26-29)
Syria vs. Iran
Kareem Allaf def. Shahin Khaledan: 6-2, 7-5
Allaf/Makzoume def. Souri/Yazdi: 6-3, 6-1
Syria vs. Qatar
Kareem Allaf def. Mousa Shanan Zayed: 6-3, 6-1
Allaf/Salim def. Zayed/Nawaf: 6-3, 6-3
Syria vs. Malaysia
Kareem Allaf def. Shamirul Shahril: 6-0, 6-1
Allaf/Makzoume def. Didier/Shahril: 6-2, 7-5
Syria vs. Vietnam
Nam Hoang Ly def. Kareem Allaf: 6-7, 6-1, 6-0