No. 6 Men’s Tennis preview: SMU – University of Texas Athletics – TexasSports.com

Please Note: Due to health and safety protocols, fans will not be permitted to attend home matches at this point.

No. 6 Texas vs. SMU
When:
Sat., Jan. 16, 2021, 12 p.m. CT
Where: Texas Tennis Center, Austin, Texas
Live Video
Live Stats

Updated Team Stats

Notes

-SMU Series: Texas leads, 81-22-2
Texas leads the all-time series with SMU 81-22-2 and is on a 19-match winning streak dating back to 2001. In the last meeting in Austin, the Longhorns captured a 6-1 win in Austin at the Texas Tennis Center in 2019. Last season, the Longhorns traveled to Dallas and also posted a 6-1 win.

Last Meeting

No. 2 Texas 6, SMU 1
Sat., Jan. 18, 2020 • SMU Tennis Center • Dallas, Texas

Singles – Order of Finish (2,5,3,6,4,1)
1. No. 2 Yuya Ito (Texas) def. Caleb Chakravarthi (SMU), 6-3, 7-6 (0)
2. No. 13 Christian Sigsgaard (Texas) def. Tomas Vaise (SMU), 6-3, 6-3
3. No. 53 Siem Woldeab (Texas) def. Carles Sarrio (SMU), 6-4, 6-2
4. Eliot Spizzirri (Texas) def. Ethan Leon (SMU), 6-3, 6-3
5. Jacob Bullard (Texas) def. Huntley Allen (SMU), 7-5, 6-2
6. Cleeve Harper (Texas) def. Jordi Redelijk (SMU), 6-2, 6-4

Doubles – Order of Finish (1,2,3)
1. Caleb Chakravarthi/Tomas Vaise (SMU) def. No. 4 Yuya Ito/Christian Sigsgaard (Texas), 6-3
2. Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab (Texas) def. Juan Jose Bianchi/Carles Sarrio (SMU), 6-3
3. Huntley Allen/Jan-Simon Vrbsky (SMU) def. Cleeve Harper/Chih Chi Huang (Texas), 7-6 (6)

-Texas vs SMU in 2020 tournament play
Did not meet

-Ranked t-No. 6
Texas is tied for No. 6 in the Oracle/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Preseason Rankings released Jan. 14 by the ITA. It marks the 21st-straight week the Longhorns have been ranked in the top six dating back to January 2019. 

-ITA Individual National Rankings (Jan. 13)

Texas
Singles 
No. 57 Siem Woldeab
No. 78 Micah Braswell
No. 120 Eliot Spizzirri

Doubles
t-No. 43 Payton Holden/Siem Woldeab

Newcomers
No. 5 Micah Braswell

SMU
Singles
N/A

Doubles
N/A

-Season Opening Sweep
Texas opened its 2021 dual match season with a 7-0 sweep of Louisiana at the Texas Tennis Center on Jan. 15. The Longhorns won all six singles matches on the day with four in straight sets and two that ended in third-set superbreakers. They also took two out of three doubles matches.

-Bama Spring Shootout
The Longhorns headed to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to open spring play in a tournament that was originally scheduled to host individual play between Texas, Alabama and Mississippi State. However, after Mississippi State withdrew, members of Texas and Alabama faced off with the Longhorns winning four out of five titles, including sweeping all 10 doubles matches played on the second day. All three singles champions for the Longhorns in Eliot Spizzirri, Micah Braswell and Leighton Allen posted perfect 3-0 records.

Texas Singles Champions
Flight 1 – Eliot Spizzirri, Micah Braswell (co)
Flight 3 – Leighton Allen

Texas Doubles Champions
Flight 1 – Eliot Spizzirri/Siem Woldeab
Flight 2 – Micah Braswell/Cleeve Harper

ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year
Sophomore Siem Woldeab was honored as the ITA Texas Region Rookie of the Year in May after he posted a 21-10 overall record in singles, including 11-3 in dual matches, stepping into the starting lineup for a defending National Champion Texas team and playing mostly at No. 3. He registered a high singles ranking of 37 and a high doubles ranking of 11 during the year and collected eight wins over ranked opponents in singles, including four against the top 40, two in the top 17 and one over teammate Yuya Ito in the championship match of his first collegiate tournament at the Gamecock Fall Invitational. He then paired with Ito to win the doubles title at the same tournament, and later paired with Christian Sigsgaard to win the doubles title of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. In dual match play, Woldeab clinched matches against No. 43 Tulane, Nebraska and Tulsa. In the first dual match of his career on the road at No. 1 Florida, he played No. 3 singles and downed No. 17 Duarte Vale in straight sets to secure the team’s first point in a 5-2 win. Woldeab won his last six singles matches of the season, including against opponents on two top-10 teams in No. 8 Stanford and No. 9 NC State. He has picked up where he left off this season with a win against Louisiana in dual match play.

Spizzirri Out of the Gate
So far in his early career as a Longhorn, sophomore Eliot Spizzirri has had an excellent start, registering a 20-4 singles record that includes an 12-1 mark in dual match play. In his first collegiate dual match he opened with a win over No. 72 Andy Andrade at No. 1 Florida to help Texas to a win. He had joined the team in January and made an immediate impact, playing primarily the No. 4 spot in the lineup. Through tournament play in this season, he recorded a 7-1 record in singles. Most recently he claimed the co-championship of the top flight in singles and the championship of the top flight of doubles with Siem Woleab at the Bama Spring Shootout. He has a 17-11 overall career record in doubles to this point.

And Here Comes Braswell
True freshman Micah Braswell posted a 12-1 singles record in his first action as a Longhorn this fall, on his way to winning the championship of the Lakes Tennis Invite and co-championships of the TCU Invite and the Big 6 Fall Invite. That included wins over players in the last rankings of last season: No. 48 Parker Wynn, No. 77 Luc Fomba, No. 87 Ilgiz Valiev, No. 104 Mason Beiler and No. 107 Charlie Broom. He followed that up with a 3-0 start to spring play at the Bama Spring Shootout to earn the co-championship with teammate Eliot Spizzirri, along with a win against Louisiana in his first collegiate dual match and pushed his overall record to 16-1.

-ITA Kickoff Weekend
Texas will once again host a regional for the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Texas Tennis Center. The Longhorns will face Arizona on Jan. 22 and then play either Florida or Oklahoma State on Jan. 23.

-Defending National Champions (Still)
Without the NCAA Tournament being played last year, the Longhorns enter the season still as the defending National Champions. Juniors Chih Chi Huang Nevin Arimilli and redshirt sophomore Cleeve Harper are the lone members remaining from the title team with an influx of new faces arriving since that time. Head coach Bruce Berque enters his third season after guiding Texas to its first team championship in school history.

-Simply the Best
This season Texas will be without two of its staples from the last four years that included a run to the program’s first team National Championship in Yuya Ito and Christian Sigsgaard. Both players rank in the top 10 in all-time singles wins at Texas with Ito fifth (111) and Sigsgaard seventh (105) and would have been eligible to return, however Sigsgaard chose to begin his career in professional tennis, while Ito accepted a job opportunity in Japan.

Ito posted overall career marks of 111-34 (.766) in singles and 79-36 (.687) in doubles, including dual match records of 66-18 (.786) in singles and 48-27 (.640) in doubles. He was on pace to set the UT record for career singles victories had his final season not been cut short. His overall .766 career singles winning percentage is the best among the 22 players who have 90 victories or more. Ito was just the third three-time singles All-American (2017, ’19, ’20) in program history since separate singles and doubles honors began to be recognized in 1979. He finished in the top 10 of the ITA final singles rankings in both of the last two years at No. 8 in 2019 and No. 2 in 2020. He also paired with Christian Sigsgaard to rank as high as No. 4 in doubles in 2020.

Sigsgaard posted overall career marks of 105-41 (.719) in singles and 78-33 (.703) in doubles, including dual match records of 53-28 (.654) in singles and 51-21 (.708) in doubles. He departed Texas with three ITA All-America honors, earning them in singles in 2019 and 2020, and in doubles in 2019. He placed in the top 10 of the ITA final rankings in singles and doubles both of those years, finishing at No. 6 in singles in 2019 and 2020 and in doubles in 2019, along with No. 9 in doubles in 2020.

-Year Four at the Texas Tennis Center
Texas began its fourth season of play at the Texas Tennis Center and has compiled a 35-3 record, including a 9-0 mark in a shortened season in 2020 that featured wins against No. 8 Stanford, No. 18 Georgia and No. 21 Florida State. The Longhorns finished 2019 with a 15-1 mark there, including wins over No. 1 Ohio State, No. 6 Baylor and No. 12 Columbia, along with three NCAA Tournament victories. The lone loss came to No. 15 USC. During its inaugural season, Texas posted a 10-2 record, including winning the 2018 Big 12 Tournament.

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