Men’s tennis swept in singles, fall to No. 4 Texas

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Alex Rybakov takes a moment to himself after a painful loss against No. 4 Texas on April 6, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

No. 10 TCU’s home win streak ended with a 6-1 loss to the No. 4 Texas Longhorns on senior night Saturday.

TCU hadn’t lost at home since falling to No. 4 Florida 3-4 back in early February, winning eight in a row before it was snapped.

Reese Stalder and Bertus Kruger ready before a shot against No. 4 Texas on April 6, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

Doubles started hot

The Frogs had an impressive start to doubles play, sweeping doubles for the first time in six matches.

The Alex Rybakov/Alastair Gray duo improved their record to 12-6 on the year, while the Reese Stalder/Bertus Kruger team improved to 14-5.

“We got the point, we played very well,” head coach David Roditi said. “I’m very happy with the way we played in doubles. Did a great job, very high level, good quality.”

The Sander Jong/Luc Fomba doubles team did not finish but were down 3-5 when the doubles point was called.

Alastair Gray rests on the net following his loss against Texas on April 6, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

Longhorns trample over singles

For the first time this season, the Frogs were swept in singles.

“They just beat us,” Roditi said. “They were better than we were today, and it’s just disappointing.”

No. 20 Gray was the first Frog to fall as he lost 6-4, 6-2 to the No. 5 player in the country.

Stalder went down quickly after, 3-6, 5-7, giving Texas the 2-1 lead overall. He had yet to lose any straight set matches in the season, but now has lost in straight sets two matches in a row.

Fomba was handled easily in the first set but had a booming comeback in the second set, winning 6-2 to even the scoreline. This play could not be sustained, however, as he fell 2-6, 6-2, 4-6.

“Fomba finding the energy that brought the best tennis he’s played in a while to win the second set was a win,” Roditi said.

Bertus Kruger fought hard to win back the second set, but ultimately fell in the third. Photo by Jack Wallace

The other TCU senior, Rybakov, was one of two Frogs to win the first set. Slowly running out of gas, though, he couldn’t last and lost 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to hand the match to the Longhorns.

“He broke us down at No. 1; I’m sure Ryba is disappointed,” Roditi said. “He’s going to have to learn from it. He’s been rock solid for us, but you never know what [they] can bring out on senior night. It didn’t bring out the best in him.”

David Roditi looks on his team during the Texas loss on April 6, 2019. Photo by Jack Wallace

One last push

This is the first time in the last four seasons Texas has beaten TCU and sets TCU at 4-3 against the Longhorns since the Frogs entered the Big 12.

“What makes Texas so good is that they’re solid one through six,” Roditi said. “There’s no holes.”

TCU currently stands at third in the Big 12 standings behind Baylor and Texas.

Up next:

The Frogs have one final home match of the season against Texas A&M at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

After the match, TCU will travel north to Oklahoma for Friday and Sunday matches against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to finish the regular season.

The Big 12 Tournament, held in Lawrence, Kansas this year, will take place from April 18-21. TCU will look to capture their third Big 12 Tournament title in the last four years.