TCU Men’s Tennis closed the regular season with just two losses, both coming at the hands of top-ranked Texas Longhorns, including the season finale which ceded the Big 12 regular season title to the ‘Horns. The Horned Frogs earned its revenge on Sunday, battling for a 4-1 victory over those Longhorns in the Big 12 Tournament Championship Final from Lawrence, KS. TCU once again bested Texas with a Tournament crown on the line, having swept the Longhorns in the ITA Indoor National Championship back in February. The win marks TCU’s third Big 12 Tournament Title (2016, 2017, 2023)
Having earned the 2-seed in the Conference Tournament, TCU had a bye into the semifinals where it would match up with 6-seed Oklahoma State which advanced over 3-seed Texas Tech 4-3 in the quarterfinals. The No. 47 Cowboys provided little resistance in its effort to prevent the Frogs from reaching the finale and a potential 4th contest with the Longhorns on the season. TCU sprinted through the Doubles point as the Sebastian Gorzny-Pedro Vives and Sander Jong-Lui Maxted pairings dominated play, each rolling to 6-1 set wins.
In Singles, the Frogs wasted no time securing the three remaining points to cruise to a quick finish and rest up for Championship Sunday, sprinting to a straight set sweep of the Cowboys. Jack Pinnington took the first Singles point, rolling to a 6-1, 6-3 victory, followed shortly thereafter with fellow Brit Lui Maxted dispatching with his opponent 6-1, 6-1. Luc Fomba would put the nail in the coffin, providing the deciding point with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 91 Isaac Becroft to push the Frogs into the Finals.
Texas got past 4-seed Oklahoma in the semifinals with a 4-2 win to set up the fourth matchup of the season between the No. 1 Longhorns and No. 3 Horned Frogs. As in the previous matches between the two heavyweights, the tennis was being played at an extremely high level and every point was precious. The Doubles contest opened with a Gorzny-Vives set win over No. 89 pair Pierre-Yves Bailly and Siem Woldeab 6-3. The other two Doubles sets were played as close as possible, both reaching 6-6 and forcing a back and forth tiebreaker battle that could have fallen in either direction. Ultimately it was the No. 2-ranked pair of Jake Fearnley and Luc Fomba taking down No. 3 Cleeve Harper and Eliot Spizzirri 7-6 (7-5), marking the second time in a week that the Frogs’ top pair had bested the top pair from UT and earning the Doubles point for TCU.
However, the Singles portion opened with Spizzirri, the top-ranked Singles player, taking down Fearnley in a straight set 6-1, 6-4 match to even the contest at 1 apiece. It would be the last point the Longhorns would approach earning, as the Horned Frogs rolled off the next three matches. TCU’s Lui Maxted earned the Frogs’ second point with a quick 6-3, 6-2 victory from Court 6 over Nevin Arimilli who had defeated Pedro Vives in three sets last week in Austin. Next to finish was Court 5 where Sebastian Gorzny bounced back from a tough 5-7 first set loss to flip the script in the final two sets, taking a 6-1 win in each to defeat Cleeve Harper; Harper defeated Gorzny in straight sets in their last meeting. It was once again Luc Fomba earning the decisive point from Court 2, also recovering from an opening set loss 3-6 at the hands of No. 23 Pierre-Yves Bailly. Fomba took control and overpowered Bailly in the final two sets, emerging with 6-4, 6-3 wins to secure the point and the match and the Big 12 Championship for the Horned Frogs.
The win improved the Frogs to 22-2 on the season as TCU earned its 16th win over a ranked opponent. TCU will almost certainly be selected as a host for the NCAA Tournament Regions, giving at least one more opportunity to see the Big 12 Champions in action in Fort Worth before the bracket transitions to the central site in Orlando, FL where the eventual NCAA Champions will be crowned.