The TCU men’s tennis team (23-4, 5-0) has not lost many doubles points throughout the season. Going into this Sunday’s finals at the Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship, they had only lost three doubles points all season. On Sunday, Baylor was able to hand TCU their fourth doubles point loss of the season. That gave the Bears the momentum going into the singles matches, giving Baylor the upper hand to come away with the championship title.
TCU faced Baylor for the third time this season. The two first met in Fort Worth in a non-conference matchup on March 25. Baylor won that dual 5-2. The two met in Waco a few days later in a Big 12 conference play. TCU won that dual 4-3. TCU would sweep the Big 12 in the regular season, 5-0. Baylor would finish second in the league at 4-1, with their only loss to TCU. Both teams have also been in the Top Five nationally for most of the season. Headed into their dual this weekend, TCU was the No. 1 team nationally and Baylor the No. 4 team. Both had identical records of 23-3. All indications were this would be a tight match. And it was. Had the Frogs won the doubles point, it would not have been such a hill to climb.
In the end, Baylor won the dual 4-2 to win the tournament championship title. TCU won the regular-season title. Both teams now await the announcement of which teams will play next month for the national championship.
The Big 12 Tennis Championship was held at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center in Fort Worth. The women’s tournament started on Thursday, April 21. On Sunday, no. 2 seed Texas defeated No. 1 seed Oklahoma in the early match. The men’s tournament began on Friday, April 22. Both TCU and Baylor had byes in the first round. Baylor defeated No. 3 seed Texas in the semifinal on Saturday. TCU defeated No. 5 seed Oklahoma on Saturday in their semifinal match.
“Tough loss today,” said TCU head coach David Roditi after Sunday’s dual with Baylor. “It is disappointing to lose for the championship, here at home and in front of a great crowd. Baylor played well, and they won some critical matches. We could have played better in doubles, and I feel that we can improve some critical things in our singles matches.
“I would like to believe this loss will prepare us better for nationals. We have two weeks to prepare and prepare ourselves for it in all ways – mentally, emotionally, and technically. There is no doubt in our minds that our players left it all out there, and Baylor played better today. Thank you to Big 12, our great fans, and all our staff and administrators. “
Here is a recap of TCU’s two dual matches with Oklahoma and Baylor in the Big 12 Men’s Tennis Championship:
Semifinal: # 1 TCU 4 – # 5 Oklahoma 1 – April 25
TCU won its 23rd doubles point of the season with a win by the nation’s No. 2 ranked duo of Luc Fomba and Jake Fearnley, winning at Court 1 6-4 and by Juan Carlos Aguilar and Pedro Vives on Court 3 6-4.
In the singles matches, Vives gave TCU the next point to put them up 2-0 with his straight-set win on No. 5, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3). Oklahoma got on the board with a win at No. 6. Fearnley, at No. 4, won 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to put the Frogs up 3-1. The dual was clinched when Aguilar won his match at No. 2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Final: # 2 Baylor – # 1 TCU 2 – April 24
All three of the doubles matches were close. And Baylor won the two they needed for the point within moments of each other. Fomba and Fearnley, at No.1, lost 3-6, and Sander Jong and Luis Maxtedat No. 2, lost 4-6 to give Baylor the early advantage.
Baylor won the first two singles matches at No. 5 and No. 6 to give them a 3-0 advantage. Fomba got TCU on the board with an exciting win on No. 1, 6-4, 7-5. Fearnley was next as he battled back to force the third set and then maintained a slight edge to win 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, thanks to a double fault by Baylor’s Finn Bass.
With the score now 3-2, TCU could not lose either of the remaining matches. Jong won his first set at No. 3 but lost his second set. That match was on serve 3-2. On No. 2, Aguilar fought back in the first set to win it 7-6 but lost his second set. He was just about to start the third set. Then Mother Nature came into play. Play was suspended due to lightning. Most of the crowd left. Play resumed less than an hour later on the indoor courts, but TCU lost the momentum they had going. Aguilar lost his third set 3-6, which clinched the championship for Baylor.
Next up: The NCAA will announce on Tuesday, May 3, the teams that will travel to Champaign, Illinois, May 19-29 for the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championship. TCU will learn if they will be one of the teams to compete for the national championship.
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
February 13 vs. Virginia – Won 4-1
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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 – Won 4-1
April 14 at Oklahoma State – Won 5-1
April 16 at Oklahoma – Won 5-2
April 23-24 Big 12 Championship
April 23 vs. 5-seed Oklahoma – Won 4-1
April 24 vs. 2-seed Baylor – Lost 2-4
May 19 NCAA Championship – Champaign, IL
* Match played indoors due to weather
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