Men’s Tennis No. 5 dominates Arizona State, 6-1

Tempe, Ariz. – The No. 5 men’s tennis player from Texas swept the singles matches to earn a 6-1 win over Arizona State in Tempe on Sunday, splitting their two-game road trip in the state.

The wins came from second No. 20 Micah Braswell at No. 2, second No. 73 Cleeve Harper at No. 4, Junior Nevin Arimilli at No. 5, second year Evin McDonald at No. 6, senior Richard Ciamarra at No. 3 and freshman Pierre-Yves Bailly at number 1.

After Arizona State won the doubles point in a deciding game, Braswell produced an effective response with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Fabien Salle. Braswell picked up a two-point break in the opener and then another on serve to complete a 4-0 run to start the game. The rest of the first set stayed on serve, as did the first two games of the second when Braswell broke and held a 3-1 lead. Hall recovered the break on a two point break to tie it at 3-3, but Braswell responded with a two point break to start a 3-0 run to tie the aggregate game at 1-1.

Harper was next off the court for Texas with a 6-1, 7-6(5) win over former Longhorn teammate Jacob Bullard at No. 4. Harper started the game with a two-run hold and a 5-0 run. Bullard recovered a game on serve, but Harper held the next one for the set. Each player took a break to open the second set, but from there stayed on serve until Bullard’s next break to give him a 5-3 lead. Harper held off a set point for Bullard with a two-point break in the following game to get the set back on track, then ducked another to make it 6-6 and the tiebreaker. In that frame, Harper took a 3-0 lead with a mini-break at the first point. Bullard closed within a point at 4-3, 5-4, 6-5, but then Harper got the mini-break he needed for the win and a 2-1 Texas lead.

Arimilli followed with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Nicola Cigna to increase Longhorn’s advantage to 3-1. Arimilli got off to a 3-0 start with a break in the opener and two straight two-point wins, but Cigna salvaged one of the breaks on a two-point and then held 3-2. The rest of the set remained on serve, including a two-point victory for each player, leading to victory for Arimilli. In the second set, Arimilli broke again in the opener and then held 2-0. The players then took turns winning two points on serve, with Arimilli starting a 3-0 run for a 5-1 advantage for him. Arimilli had match points in each of the next two games, but Cigna captured them with two-point wins and then held to draw at 5-4 before Arimilli closed on serve.

The last three matches have all been straight sets, starting with McDonald’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over Spencer Brachman. The first set stayed on serve until a 5-4 lead for Brachman which he posted on a two point before grabbing the first frame break for the win. McDonald quickly earned his first break in the opening game of the second set and consolidated it into a 2-0 lead on serve. His second break then gave him a 5-2 advantage, but Brachman pulled back and held 5-4, while McDonald also held the next game to take the set. In the third, McDonald used two runs in games three and four to cap a 4-0 run and the rest of the set stayed on serve to give McDonald the win and the clinch of the match at 4-1.

That left Ciamarra and Bailly on the field, with Ciamarra picking up a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 118 Max McKennon. Ciamarra earned a break in the opener, but McKennon went on a 4-0 run to establish their lead, then held serve using two points for the set. In the second, Ciamarra sandwiched a pair of 3-0 points around one for McKennon, with the second point for Ciamarra finishing with two points and starting a seven-game point streak that took him 4-0 down in third . Ciamarra’s lead extended to 5-1 on serve with McKennon then holding a two point and taking a break for 5-3, but Ciamarra immediately retook the break for the win.

Bailly finished with the tightest match of the day, a 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 1-0(9) decision over Murphy Cassone. In the first set, Bailly used a two-point break for a 3-1 lead which he pushed to 4-1 on serve, but Cassone took two consecutive points with a hold for a 3-0 run for legalize. The rest of the set remained on serve, with each player earning a point two as Cassone came to make it 6-6 to qualify for a tiebreaker. There, neither player was leading by more than a point until Bailly got a mini-break to win at 8-6. In the second set, it was Cassone who took a 3-0 lead, but Bailly came back with a 3-0 run that started with a two-point hold. This put the set back on track where it stayed until a second tiebreaker in which Cassone used a 3-0 run for a 6-3 lead. Bailly closed at 6-5, but Cassone took the next point for the win en route to the third-set superbreaker. In that setting, Cassone took a 4-0 lead, but Bailly captured eight of the next nine points, including a 6-0 run that left him in the lead, 8-5. The players traded points on the next two to put Bailly ahead 9-6, but Cassone fended off three match points to make it 9-9. However, Bailly secured the next two points for the win and the 6-1 final.

Earlier in doubles, Arizona State earned its only point of the day by winning a tiebreaker in the deciding game at No. 3, a contest that featured Braswell and junior Chih Chi Huang against Cigna and George Stoupe. The Sun Devils used breaks in games two and four around a Longhorn break in the third to generate a 4-1 lead, but Texas responded with a 3-0 run, including a break of two points to regain service, that’s where the match remained at the circuit breaker. Braswell and Huang grabbed a mini-break to start this frame and won three of the first four points, but Cigna and Stoupe raced 5-0 for a 6-4 lead before winning it at 7-5.

The Sun Devils had also won the No. 1 double where No. 42 McKennon and Salle beat the No. 23 second-year pair Eliot Spizirri and Siem Woldeab, 6-2. The Longhorns held their first two serves for a 2-1 lead, but ASU went on a 5-0 run from there for the win.

Texas then took the No. 2 double where the No. 13 duo of Ciamarra and Harper beat Cassone and Bullard, 6-3. Each team earned two points keeping the first five service games with a 3-2 lead at UT, the last of those starting a 3-0 run for the Longhorns to extend to 5-2. The Sun Devils salvaged a serve game at 5-3, but Ciamarra and Harper closed serve for the win.

The Longhorns will then return home to host the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Texas Tennis Center and face Columbia on January 29 at 11 a.m. CT, followed by Oklahoma State or Oregon on Sunday, January 30. January at 12 p.m. CT.

#5 Texas 6, Arizona State 1

Singles – Order of finish (2,4,5,6,3,1)
1. Pierre-Yves Bailly (UT) def. Murphy Cassone (USA) 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 1-0 (9)
2. #20 Micah Braswell (UT) def. Fabien Salle (USA) 6-2, 6-3
3. Richard Ciamarra (UT) def. #118 Max McKennon (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. #73 Cleeve Harper (UT) def. Jacob Bullard (USA) 6-1, 7-6 (5)
5. Nevin Arimilli (UT) def. Nicola Cigna (USA) 6-4, 6-4
6. Evin McDonald (UT) def. Spencer Brachman (USA) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2

Doubles – Order of arrival (1,2,3)
1. #42 Max McKennon/Fabien Salle (ASU) def. #23 Eliot Spizirri/Siem Woldeab (TU) 6-2
2. #13 Richard Ciamarra/Cleeve Harper (UT) def. Murphy Casson/Jacob Bullard (USS) 6-3
3. George Stoupe/Nicola Cigna (ASU) def. Chih Chi Huang/Micah Braswell (TU) 7-6 (5)

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