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. 5 Texas Men’s Tennis sweeps No. 3 TCU to win sixth Big 12 tournament title

Kennedy Weatherby
Junior Pierre-Yves Bailly backhands the ball to Louis Bowden of Baylor University during a singles match on April 13, 2024.

On March 2, TCU won a gritty 4-3 battle against Texas in Fort Worth. Fast-forward to March 24, and the fortunes reversed; Texas dominated TCU 5-0 to avenge its loss. With the prowess of both these teams, it’s only fitting that the two have a rubber match in the Big 12 Tournament final.

This match serves as a rematch of last year’s final, where TCU dominated Texas 4-1 in Lawrence, Kansas. This time, however, Texas got its revenge and swept the Horned Frogs once again.

In both matchups this season, the winner claimed the doubles point. Texas grabbed an early advantage with early breaks by junior Pierre-Yves Bailly and senior Eshan Talluri, as well as senior Micah Braswell and redshirt senior Cleeve Harper. The first pair faced off against No. 72 Lui Maxted and Duncan Chan, while the second faced Jack Pinnington and Kaj Quirijns.

However, the premier Texas pair of seniors Eliot Spizzirri and Siem Woldeab fell behind early against Jake Fearnley and Pedro Vives, who were put together due to the injury of Sebastian Gorzny, Vives’ normal doubles partner. Spizzirri and Woldeab couldn’t recoup from the deficit and lost 3-6.

Nonetheless, the Longhorns maintained the rest of their leads, as Bailly and Talluri would break once again and win 6-2, and Braswell and Harper clinched the doubles point with a 6-2 victory, winning the match on a beautiful point by Harper at the net.

In singles, Texas got out to a wonderful start, claiming four of six first sets.

No. 86 Pierre-Yves Bailly and Woldeab set the tone as they each claimed 4-0 leads that they each translated into first-set wins, 6-3 and 6-2 against No. 72 Lui Maxted and Duncan Chan, respectively. No. 39 freshman Gilles-Arnaud Bailly continued his late-season dominance with a 6-3 win, and No. 3 Micah Braswell came one step closer to extending his 30-match win streak with a 6-4 win in a high-octane battle with No. 8 Jake Fearnley.

However, No. 1 Spizzirri dropped another first set 2-6 against No. 10 Jack Pinnington as his early-match woes continued, and Jonah Braswell couldn’t add to the Longhorns’ advantage as he lost 3-6 against Tomas Jirousek, who Braswell had defeated previously.

Woldeab claimed the second point for Texas as he remained dominant with a 6-2 second-set victory. The other sets, however, were far closer; both of the Bailly brothers found themselves at 4-4 as the TCU players battled to stay alive.

But the effort was in vain; Pierre-Yves broke at 6-4 and consolidated to put Texas 3-0 up, and soon after, Gilles-Arnaud broke at 6-4 up to complete the sweep and win the Big 12 for the Longhorns.

Texas exits the Big 12 with its sixth conference title in school history as it claims both the conference regular season and tournament titles and increases its win streak to 13. Whether the Longhorns will move up the ITA rankings remains to be seen, but they are set up in prime position to win their first national title in five years.

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