Sigsgaard’s win highlights long week for Texas

Zachary Leff

Texas finished last weekend on a high note at the Saint Francis Health System ITA All-American Championships thanks to Christian Sigsgaard, who captured the singles consolation title.

In all, the Longhorns had six total members qualify to participate in the tournament this past week, including four singles players and one doubles pair. Unfortunately for Texas, each player in the main draw was bounced out in the first round, sending them to the consolation bracket.

After previously losing in the semifinals of Oracle ITA Masters invitational, Sigsgaard wanted to prove he could respond in a strong way, but instead suffered a loss in his very first match.

“It was a tough loss in the first round, but it’s always a good chance to have more matches here in consolation, especially when there are so many good players,” Sigsgaard said. “I think it definitely helped me. I kept following my game plan that Coach Berque and I laid out to stay on the baseline and keep playing aggressive.”

Sigsgaard would not let his past losses bring him down though, as he would go on an incredible run through the consolation bracket. Sigsgaard, ranked 54th by the ITA, defeated three opponents ranked above him to win the consolation bracket — including a key victory in the round of 16 where he defeated Tennessee’s Timo Stodder, who was ranked the 6th best player in the country by the ITA.

In the finals, Sigsgaard was able to cap off his great comeback with a win against Ohio State’s John McNally, who was also ranked higher than Sigsgaard at 51st. This proved to be a value tournament for the junior, showing the ups and downs of men’s tennis.

“I felt good about the way I was playing, and I was able to continue to do that through these last matches,” Sigsgaard said. “It was a good win in the end. It’s always nice traveling back to Austin with a win and an award. I’m happy I was able to play good tennis and win.”

Head coach Michael Center knew it was a rough week for the Longhorns, but was very satisfied with the way Sigsgaard was able to battle back and claim a championship in process.

“It was a great tournament for Christian,” Center said. “He played a lot of difficult matches and improved as the week went on.”

The win also qualified Sigsgaard to compete in the 2018 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships in Arizona later this fall. For Sigsgaard, this was a top goal for him leading into the fall season of play.

“It’s always a goal in the fall to qualify for nationals,” Sigsgaard said. “I did my freshman year when it was in New York, and it was a great trip and a great tournament. Last year, I didn’t play in the fall, so this fall it was one of my goals to qualify for that. I’m definitely looking forward to that.”