Tennis roundup: Longhorns prepare for weekend matchups

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Photo Credit: Angel Ulloa | Daily Texan Staff

Three-match home stand could provide spark Longhorn men need

The Longhorn men will get a chance to continue to play at their newly opened Texas Tennis Center as they begin a three-match home stand this weekend.

The men’s team will open up with a match on Friday at 5:30 p.m. against Utah State. After that, the Longhorns have a day’s rest before they host Arkansas on Sunday at 1 p.m. The match is scheduled to be played indoors at the Weller Tennis Center due to inclement weather.

After a two-week break, the Longhorns will close out their home stand on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 12 p.m. against Georgia Tech.

After some recent tough losses, notably against Notre Dame and Ohio State, this weekend’s home stand is a potential way for the Longhorns to rebuild their confidence and reshape their swagger.

On Wednesday, ITA released ranking updates for men’s singles and doubles.

Junior Leonardo Telles is now the highest-ranked Longhorn singles player, sitting at No. 37. Junior Harrison Scott has dropped back to No. 54, 27 spots behind where he was last ranked in November 2017. Scott has suffered some grueling losses this spring, which may have contributed to his drop in the rankings.

A successful season in doubles so far for the Longhorns was documented in the doubles rankings. Telles and junior Rodrigo Banzer sit at No. 4 in the nation. The Longhorns have three other teams in the top 60, including at No. 46, 49 and 59.

Sophomore Bianca Turati ranked No. 1 in the nation for Longhorn women

Ahead of the ITA National Indoor Championships, Texas star sophomore Bianca Turati rose to the No. 1 singles spot in the ITA national rankings on Wednesday. Turati became the first Longhorn to sit atop the women’s singles rankings since Kelly Pace held the top spot in 1995.

After being named the Big 12 Conference freshman of the year and the ITA Texas Region rookie of the year, Turati showed signs of potential future success. But nothing could’ve prepared the collegiate tennis world for Bianca’s meteoric rise to the top.

This past fall, Turati showcased her growth, defeating former No. 1 Ena Shibahara of UCLA in November. Turati finished the fall season with a top-10 ranking and just a single loss. Turati has continued her success through the 2018 spring season, maintaining a seven-match win streak. A number of those matches haven’t even challenged her.

Bianca’s twin sister, sophomore Anna Turati, also ascended the ITA singles rankings, reaching a career-high No. 41 after starting the season at No. 87. Anna has been white-hot in the spring as well, going undefeated and continuing a nine-game winning streak. The sibling duo are the highest-ranked singles players on the Longhorns’ roster.

Texas sophomore Petra Granic ranks No. 64 in the updated ITA singles rankings. Freshman Bojana Markovic enters the rankings at 115th.

As the ITA National Team Indoor Championships begin later this week, the No. 11 Longhorn women will face off against second-seeded and No. 4-ranked Georgia on Friday in Madison, Wisconsin. Texas will enter the match as an underdog, a position that the Longhorns have succeeded in recently, defeating then-No. 11 California last month to win a bid into the Indoor Championships.

One thing to look for in this weekend’s play is how the Longhorns will answer their struggles in the opening doubles point, which Texas hasn’t won in the past four matches. In Wednesday’s updated ITA doubles rankings,  University of Georgia had two doubles tandems ranked inside the top 20. Texas doesn’t have a single team in the top 60.