Big 12 conference play began last weekend for the TCU men’s tennis team. They hosted No. 40 Texas Tech on the purple courts, winning that dual 6-1. Then on Sunday, the team traveled to Waco to take on a highly ranked Baylor team. It was a hard-fought battle, but TCU came away with the 4-3 win over the Bears. The win over Baylor in a conference matchup came just over a week after Baylor beat TCU in a nonconference dual in Fort Worth 5-2.
Here is a recap of the two dual matches with Texas Tech and Baylor that opened conference play for the Frogs:
# 3 TCU 6 – # 40 Texas Tech 1 – April 1 – Fort Worth, Texas
This dual started comfortably for TCU but quickly became a nail-biter for both teams and fans. TCU easily won the doubles point, giving them a 1-0 edge to start the singles matches. Three of the six singles matches were won in straight sets, while the other three all went to a 12 game third set.
In the doubles matches, the nation’s No. 2 pairing of Luc Fomba and Jake Fearnley won their sixth consecutive match on the No. 1 court 6-3. They were quickly followed by the nation’s No. 3 pairing of Sander Jong, and He Maxted won their match at No. 2 also by a score of 6-3.
In the singles matches, three of the matches were won in straight sets, with TCU winning two of those to go up by a score of 3-1. Juan Carlos Aguilar was the first to win at No. 2, 7-5, 6-2. Maxted lost his match at No. 4, and Jong won his match at No. 3 6-4, 6-2.
It took nearly an hour more after the Frogs were up 3-1 before the next point was won. All three remaining matches went to three sets. Fomba clinched the win for the Frogs at No. 1, winning his match 4-6, 6-4, 7-5. After clinching the victory, the remaining two sets played to completion. Tomas Jirousek won his match at No. 5, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3). Then Tim Ruehl won his match at No. 6, 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (8-6).
# 3 TCU 4 – # 4 Baylor 3 – April 3 – Waco, Texas
The win on Friday must have given them the energy and momentum for Sunday’s match. It was a Top Five matchup that was a complete opposite dual to the one the week before in Fort Worth. In that first dual, Baylor won the doubles point and then all six first sets in the singles matches, putting the Frogs behind early and just not able to dig themselves out of that whole.
On Sunday, the match in Waco was a grueling dual full of must-win situations, starting in the doubles matches. This time, TCU did win the doubles point, but it was not easy. Baylor won the first match quickly, defeating Jong / Maxted 6-1 at No. 2. TCU would have to win both of the remaining matches to win the point. Aguilar and Pedro Vives, playing at No. 3, won their match 6-3. That left Fomba / Fearnley at No. 1, and their match went the distance, with them winning 7-5. Fomba and Fearnley extended their winning streak to seven consecutive matches and remain perfect against ranked pairs.
In the singles matches, it was a back-and-forth affair. The first sets were not easy. Only one of the first sets was played in less than ten games, and that set went to Baylor. Fearnley and Aguilar won their first sets in the tiebreaker, while Jong got a late break to win his 7-5.
Fearnley was the first to win his match, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3. He went 3-0 for the weekend, which earned him Big 12 Player of the Week honors. His win put TCU up 2-0, but Baylor went on a run, winning three matches to go up 3-2, with Fomba, Jirousek, and Ruehl all losing their matches. With two matches remaining, TCU would need to win both. Baylor would only need to win one.
Aguilar would tie the dual 3-3 with his win at No. 2, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. It was up to Jong at No. 3. He won his first set 7-5 and lost the second set 4-6. It came down to a third-set tiebreaker, not just to settle his match but also to settle the dual. He served up a bagel, winning the set 6-0 and clinching the dual victory for the Frogs.
The win by TCU ended a four-match losing streak to Baylor. Going back to last year, in the previous 34 matches, TCU overall is 28-6. Four of those six losses were to that school in Waco.
TCU is now 19-3 on the season, 10-3 versus Top 25 teams, and now 2-0 in Big 12 play. Frogs are 74-33 in singles matches and 35-10 in doubles matches. The Frogs have won 19 of 22 doubles points this season so far.
For TCU, beating Baylor, regardless of sport, is always fun:
Next up: TCU, once again now No. 1 in the nation per ITA, hosts No. 11 Texas on the purple courts in Fort Worth on Saturday, April 9, at 3 pm It will be Senior Day. TCU will honor the two seniors on the team – Aguilar and Ruehl.
2022 Men’s Tennis Schedule / Results
January 12 vs. UTRGV – Won 6-1
January 14 vs. Florida – Won 4-3
January 16 vs. Tennessee – Lost 3-4
January 27 vs. Abilene Christian – Won 4-1
January 29 vs. Portland – Won 4-0
January 30 vs. Tulsa – Won 4-0
February 6 vs. Ole Miss – Won 4-3
February 11 at Mississippi State – Won 6-1
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February 13 vs. Virginia – Won 4-1
February 18-21 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Nationals Championship
February 18 vs. Virginia – Won 4-2
February 19 vs. Texas – Won 4-0
February 20 vs. Ohio State – Won 4-3
February 21 vs. Tennessee – Won 4-1
March 2 vs. Michigan – Lost 4-1
March 5 at Illinois – Won 4-2 *
March 10 at UCLA – Won 4-2
March 19 vs. USF – Won 6-1
March 21 at SMU – Won 4-1 *
March 25 vs. Baylor – Lost 2-5
March 27 at Tulane – Won 7-0
April 1 vs. Texas Tech – Won 6-1
April 3 at Baylor – Won 4-3
April 9 vs. Texas
April 14 at Oklahoma State
April 16 at Oklahoma
April 22 vs. Big 12 Championship
May 19 NCAA Championship
* Match played indoors due to weather
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