Longhorns duel in regional finals

Sydney Tasman

The Texas women’s tennis team reigned supreme this past weekend at the ITA Texas Regionals Championship in College Station. Texas had a rare occurrence that resulted from its stellar play — the only opponent the Longhorn finalist and champion, Anna Turati, could play in the final round was her fellow teammate, Bojana Markovic.

Markovic also played against Fernanda Labraña, another Longhorn, in her Sunday semifinal match to reach the finals. She defeated Labraña in a tough three-setter: 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Although the Turati was thrilled to have another championship win under her belt, she expressed great pride in her teammates’ success as well.

“Texas dominated the tournament … We had three players in the semifinals, so I’m so proud of the group,” Turati said. “We’re doing great.”

This is the second year in a row that this tournament has ended in a Texas vs. Texas battle. Last year concluded with another Turati victory as Anna’s twin sister, Bianca Turati, defeated Petra Granic in the 2017 final. Additionally, this will be Texas’ third singles championship in this tournament over the last four years, including former Longhorn Breaunna Addison’s victory in 2015.

This year, Anna Turati defeated Texas Tech’s Francesca Sella in a 6-0, 6-1 decision and continued to come out on top against Markovic 6-1, 6-0 to clutch the singles championship title. The Longhorn was the top seed in the tournament and had a first-round bye. She continued to win six consecutive matches without giving up a single set to earn a spot in the final round.

Toward the end of the tournament, four of the eight quarterfinalists and three of the four semifinalists were Longhorns playing for the singles title. The quarterfinalist players included Katie Poluta in addition to Turati, Labraña and Markovic. 

Head coach Howard Joffe was adamant that although there is still room for improvement, the Longhorns deserve praise for their achievements in College Station.

“Our ladies do understand we still have lots of work and improving to do as we move forward with preparations for the spring, but I think it is a good time to sit back and reflect and celebrate the great work that our ladies have put in and the results they have been rewarded with,” Joffe said.

While most of the team was busy competing on the courts of Texas A&M’s George P. Mitchell Tennis Center, Bianca Turati played at the ITF Florence pro event in South Carolina. She was joined by her sister, Anna, early in the tournament and stayed to compete in round 16. The match lasted two hours and 21 minutes as Maria Mateas was able to pull away from the back and forth battle with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Bianca.