Texas tennis wins program’s first national championship

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ORLANDO, FL (KXAN) — Texas men’s tennis wins the NCAA National Championship after a season of unprecedented success and turbulence.

Behind interim head coach Bruce Berque, the Longhorns claimed its first men’s tennis national title, beating Wake Forest 4-1 Sunday afternoon.  

Wake Forest, the defending national champions, jumped ahead early grabbing the doubles point for a 1-0 lead over Texas, but the Longhorns stable core of upperclassmen rallied.

Texas’ No. 1 player Christian Sigsgaard defeated Borna Gojo 6-3 & 6-4 in singles to square the match at 1.

Senior Rodrigo Banzer swung the pendulum in favor of the Longhorns defeating Wake Forest’s Siddhant Banthia 7-5 & 6-4 for a 2-1 Texas lead.

Westwood product Colin Markes pushed all the momentum toward Texas with a win against Melios Efstathiou for a 3-1 Longhorns lead.

Texas’ deciding point came from Japanese junior Yuya Ito winning in three sets over Petros Chrysochos to clinch the national championship.

Texas advanced to the NCAA Championship finals for the second time in school history, and finished with 29 wins (the most since 31 wins in 1974).

Overcoming Adversity

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte was in Florida for the national championship victory and he shouldn’t need to look far for the Longhorns next permanent head coach.

Interim coach Bruce Berque received the temporary head coaching title after longtime head coach Michael Center was fired for his connection to the FBI investigation into the massive college admissions scandal. Center pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a Boston federal court on April 24.

Center was charged with accepting $100,000 to help an applicant get admitted to the school as a tennis recruit even though the student didn’t play the sport. Authorities say $60,000 of that was given to Center in cash during a meeting in a hotel parking lot, according to the AP.

Texas’ Path to the Title

Round of 64: defeated Tennessee Tech 4-0

Round of 32: defeated South Florida 4-1

Round of 16: defeated Cal 4-0

NCAA Quarterfinals: defeated TCU 4-1

NCAA Semifinals: defeated Florida 4-2

NCAA Finals: defeated Wake Forest 4-1

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