Telles continues Longhorn’s early season success

Wills Layton

For the third time this season, a Longhorn has won the singles main draw in a tournament. Following early season victories by junior Colin Markes and senior John Mee, junior Leonardo Telles completed the trifecta by prevailing over Baylor’s No. 40 Johannes Schretter in the final at the ITA Texas Regional Championships on Monday.

Telles became the first Longhorn to win the Texas Regionals single title since 2012 when Daniel Whitehead brought home the crown. The win also qualifies Telles for the second college tennis major tournament, the ITA National Fall Championships, in Indian Wells, California.

“Obviously I’m very happy, and this was a great week,” Telles said. “I was able to stay consistent throughout the tournament, and I played well in key points. This tournament was a great opportunity to put together some big wins. I’m excited about what’s next.”

In order to get to the final set, Telles faced off versus fellow Longhorn, junior Harrison Scott, in the quarterfinals. Telles bested No. 22 Scott in straight sets to set up a semifinal appearance with No. 68 Jimmy Bendeck of Baylor. Telles beat Bendeck with relative ease, winning 6–1, 6–0 to advance.

“Leonardo played a really outstanding tournament,” head coach Michael Center said. “Mentally and physically, he was solid from start to finish. Leo was relentless with his level of play, and he got stronger as the event went on. To win points against him, regardless of the score, was very difficult.”

Overall, the Longhorns fared well at the Regional Championships, sending three athletes to the quarterfinals and two doubles teams to the semifinals.

Mee, who was the third player to advance to the quarterfinals, lost his quarterfinal match versus No. 36 Jordi Arconada of Texas A&M. Mee won earlier this season at the Cajun Tennis Classic in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Scott advanced to the quarterfinal by winning matches in both the round of 64 and 32. The No. 22 player looked to be a contender in the round of 16 before falling to Telles.

“Leonardo just didn’t miss a ball,” Center said. “Just a tremendous effort on his part, and he’s excited about playing. Much credit to our John Mee in getting to the quarterfinals as well.” 

In the doubles side of the tournament, both the doubles team of Banzer and Telles and the team of Markes and redshirt junior Adrian Ortiz lost close matches. The pair lost to Texas A&M and Texas Tech, respectively. 

“The guys played some very good doubles,” Center said. “We had match points in both matches, but we came up short. Our doubles play is much improved, though, and I’m happy to see that.” 

The Longhorns will make its next appearance at the Oracle ITA National Fall Championships. Telles will be the lone Texas representative at the event.