Texas men’s tennis has never in its illustrious history lost to UTSA or Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, going 23–0 and 15–0 in the respective head-to-head series.
The Longhorns made sure that there wouldn’t be a first on Wednesday in Austin by defeating the Roadrunners 6-1 in the first match and the Islanders 4-0 in the second, braving chilly weather throughout the sunset to move to 6–0 on the season.
“Everybody’s getting a chance to play today,” head coach Michael Center said of the doubleheader. “Right now we’re just focused on how we’re competing and how much we’re improving … It’s so early in the season right now, we want to be our best in April and May, but we gotta utilize these opportunities to get better.”
The weather for the match, being colder and windier than normal, played a factor in prematch preparations as well as mid-match adjustments.
“The ball’s moving a little slower, so you can’t attack that much so you gotta get your body going,” junior Christian Sigsgaard said. “It’s not gonna be that easy hitting aces and returning winners all the time.”
Sigsgaard, ranked No. 4 in singles play, won 6-3, 6-1 in singles over No. 66 Kai Breitbach and teamed up with Harrison Scott to earn a 6-3 win on the doubles front during the first match.
Sigsgaard wasn’t the only Longhorn player making adjustments and staying focused, though.
“It’s hard to move our bodies on the court especially in singles, you have a lot of time in between games and points,” said singles No. 18 Yuya Ito, who prevailed 6-4 in his doubles match with teammate Chih Chi Huang and his singles match 6-1, 6-2 over Joao Ceolin. “Today, I had to think about moving fast and moving my feet so that my body keeps moving better as the match goes on.”
The matches were the fourth and fifth of a six-game home stand that concludes this Saturday with a matchup against the No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels, who are coming off a 4-1 win over Duke. The match will mark Texas’ first this year at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center.
“We’re going to start playing more indoors over the next few weeks,” Center said. “We’ll hit some balls indoors, we haven’t played a lot indoors at this point. It’ll be a good match to see where we’re at. … (North Carolina is) probably a little better indoor team. They’re a legitimate top-five team, I think we can be a top-five team, and we’ll see who’s the last man standing on Saturday.”
After the defining match against the Tar Heels, the Longhorns will play their next five matches away from Austin, including the ITA National Indoor Championships, which they qualified for by winning last weekend’s ITA Kick-Off Weekend.
“It’s gonna be tough going away for a month straight where we’re not going to play at home for a while,” Ito said. “But we’re gonna keep the same attitude.”