Texas freshman Christian Sigsgaard notched 12 consecutive wins on his way to the singles semifinals at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The newcomer from Denmark played with poise far beyond his years as he defeated multiple ITA-ranked veterans, including No. 13 Florian Lakat of California in Saturday’s quarterfinals.
But a weekend worth of nonstop action took its toll. The fatigue plagued Sigsgaard during the quarterfinal match as he dropped a hard-fought set against No. 33 Hugo Di Feo of Ohio State, 7-6, only to lose the next set and a spot in the finals by a 6-0 margin. Regardless, the Texas freshman concluded his first collegiate national championship event with a stellar 11-1 record.
Another Texas newcomer also continued to make a name for himself at the championship tournament. Freshmen Yuya Ito advanced to the Round of 16 with a convincing 6-3, 6-3 win over USC’s Logan Smith. There he met No. 37 Alfredo Perez of Florida, who claimed the first set after a lengthy tiebreaker, 8-6. Ito managed to even the match at a set apiece after a strong 6-1 win, but he fell short in the final set, dropping by the same 6-0 margin that ousted his teammate in the semifinals.
Over in Houston, the third round of qualifying draws came to a close Monday at the Houston Futures. Two Texas players fell a round short of the singles main draw at the first professional tennis tournament of the fall season, hosted by the International Tennis Federation in Houston. The event features players from around the world competing for a chance to qualify for professional ATP Challenger Tours and World Tours, as well as the $25,000 grand prize.
After fighting through the first two rounds, sophomore Rodrigo Banzer dropped the first set on Monday, 1-4, before retiring against professional circuit veteran Jolan Cailleau from Belgium.
Meanwhile Texas sophomore Julian Zlobinsky went up against another longtime pro player, 28-year-old Evgeny Korolev of Russia. After forcing the tiebreaker in the first set, Zlobinsky lost by a slim 5-7 margin. But the age and experience proved too much for the native of New York, and he lost in the next set, 2-6.
The Futures event continues through Sunday, but no Longhorn players remain. Instead the team turns its attention to Thursday’s upcoming event, as Texas freshmen Ito and Leonardo Telles begin play at the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, California.