The Crimson White

Assistant to compete with players

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Although the Alabama men’s tennis team will travel to Birmingham this week to compete in the USTA 10K Futures tournament as individuals instead of teammates, the team will attempt to treat the tournament like a team event as much as possible. CW File

Tyler Waldrep

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“We are going to be there supporting that guy and warming up together,” DeHeart said.

DeHeart said he will play a more active role this time around, as he will also be competing in the tournament alongside and potentially against 
his players.

“I would love [to compete against DeHeart],” said senior Stu Kenyon. “It would be a great experience, especially because of all of his history and all that he 
has done.”

Senior Andrew Goodwin said he was also excited by the prospect of defeating DeHeart in 
the tournament.

“He is an unbelievable player,” Goodwin said. “I’d probably stop [playing] tennis there.”

While the players said they are excited by the possibility of facing their own coach, they also look forward to seeing how they stack up with the numerous 
professionals who will enter the tournament.

“It really opens up your eyes to where other players are and where you need to strive to be,” 
Kenyon said.

DeHeart is also eager to get back out there and compete. He said he believes while he may have been conditioned better in the past, coaching has elevated his game to a new height.

“I have become a smarter player in the last couple of years,” DeHeart said. “A part of coaching is figuring out guys’ strengths and weaknesses, so I feel like I have developed a good eye.”

Goodwin said it is important that the team does not let the pressure of playing professional 
competition affect their focus.

“You need to look at it as another match,” 
Goodwin said.

Kenyon said he shared Goodwin’s belief that the team could not afford to treat the 
professionals differently.

“The person across the net is just another opponent, whether they are professional or college players,” Kenyon said. “You treat them with the 
same respect.”

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Assistant to compete with players