Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

No. 10 Texas loses a heartbreaker decided by a final set against No. 2 TCU

Assad Malik

After a convincing victory over No. 55 St. John’s on Wednesday, No. 10 Texas faced its toughest test this season against No. 2 TCU in Fort Worth. In their first matchup of the season, the Longhorns fell in an incredibly close 4-3 loss to the Horned Frogs.

Doubles started poorly, as the No. 6 pairing of graduate senior Eliot Spizzirri and redshirt senior Cleeve Harper lost 1-6 against the No. 5 pairing of sophomore Sebastian Gorzny and junior Pedro Vives. 

On Court 2, junior Pierre-Yves Bailly and senior Eshan Talluri trailed 1-3 before coming back to win 6-3 over graduate senior Jake Fearnley and sophomore Jack Pinnington, setting up a deciding doubles set for Texas freshman Gilles-Arnaud Bailly and senior Micah Braswell.

No. 31 TCU pair freshman Duncan Chan and junior Lui Maxted broke at 5-5 to serve for the doubles point. Chan hit a perfect serve down the T to win, marking another close doubles loss for Texas.

The Longhorns started strong in singles, however. Cleeve Harper won the first set 6-1 over Lui Maxted, and in a heavyweight battle on Court 1, No. 1 Eliot Spizzirri took the first set 6-4 over No. 14 Jake Fearnley. No. 2 Micah and No. 48 Jonah Braswell followed with first-set wins of 6-3 and 6-4 over No. 8 Jack Pinnington and graduate senior Tomas Jirousek, respectively.

On Courts 3 and 4, Gilles-Arnaud and Pierre-Yves Bailly played set tiebreaks against No. 21 Pedro Vives and No. 38 Sebastian Gorzny, respectively. Gilles-Arnaud was strong in a 7-2 tiebreak win; however, Pierre-Yves narrowly lost, 6-8, and couldn’t bounce back, losing the match 6-7, 1-6. Jonah Braswell fiercely clinched the first point for Texas with a resounding sweep in the second set, winning 6-4, 6-0.

Harper looked to win in straight sets, starting with a 3-1 second set lead before No. 68 Lui Maxted won the next five games and took the second set. Harper was unable to rebound as Maxted finished a strong third set to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. On Court 2, after holding every game, Micah Braswell and Jack Pinnington played a second set tiebreak, with Braswell winning 7-5 to make the match score 2-3 in favor of the Horned Frogs.

Texas needed wins from Spizzirri and Gilles-Arnaud Bailly. Things became heated on Court 1 as Spizzirri and Fearnley had many disputes over line calls, with some getting overruled by the head official. The two went to a second set tiebreak, which was taken by Fearnley, 8-6, forcing a third set.

Bailly and Vives found themselves even at five in the second set. In this game, Bailly went up 15-40 with breakpoint, when Bailly gave Vives an overhead shot. Vives, however, mistimed it, giving Bailly a game to serve for the match. Bailly held easily, finishing with a backhand volley winner to set up a deciding third set on Court 1.

Spizzirri and Fearnley continued to hold serve through a nerve-wracking third set until 4-4 when Spizzirri finally got broken to give Fearnley a match-winning opportunity, which he capitalized on to win 4-6, 7-6, 6-4, and clinch the match for TCU.

Texas looks to bounce back from the heartbreaking loss next week at the Texas Tennis Center when it takes on No. 1 Ohio State.

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About the Contributor
Assad Malik, Photo Editor
Assad Malik is a sophomore RTF major at UT and serves as the Photo Editor for The Daily Texan.