Texas men’s tennis earns bid to ITA National Indoor Championships

Jasmine C. Johnson

Earning a bid to the ITA National Indoor Championships, the men’s tennis team improved its record to 4-0 and won its 20th consecutive home opener Sunday. 

The Longhorns started off slowly — losing two of their three doubles matches — but they were able to cruise to a 4–1 win against No. 49 Minnesota on Saturday. Texas picked up two singles wins over ranked opponents and an upset when junior Nick Naumann defeated No. 117 freshman Felix Corwin 6–2, 6–4.

The doubles struggles continued Sunday, as No. 34 Florida State earned the doubles point, creating an early 0-1 deficit.

Freshman John Mee earned Texas its first point after defeating Florida freshman Terrance Whitehurst 6–2, 6–1, but the Longhorns fell behind again after Florida redshirt freshman Jose Gracia defeated junior Michael Riechmann 6–3, 6–4.

A pair of wins from seniors Søren Hess-Olesen and Adrien Berkowicz gave the Longhorns their first lead at 3–2, but the Seminoles evened the score when Florida junior Michael Rinaldi defeated senior Lloyd Glasspool, 7–5, 6–4.

With a bid to the ITA National Indoor Championships on the line, Naumann battled back from a set down and defeated Florida senior Cristian Gonzalez Mendez 6–7, 7–5, 6–1 securing a 4–3 win for the Longhorns.

“Nick has just been a warrior for us,” head coach Michael Center. “I just kept telling him, ‘You’re tougher, you’re tougher. Just keep going and keep competing,’ and that’s what he did. And to win decisively in the third set like that, after the first two were so close, shows his determination.”

Texas will return to action Saturday against Southern Methodist University in Dallas as a part of the ITA Kick-Off event.