Austin – Texas Men’s Tennis junior Eliot Spizzirri has been named Big 12 Men’s Tennis Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 22, the conference announced Tuesday.
It marks the first time he has earned the honor this season and the sixth time in his career. The Longhorns have now opened the year with back-to-back awards following junior Siem Woldeab’s last week. It also gives Texas a sweep of the tennis awards this week with Charlotte Chavatipon taking it for the Women.
In two dual matches, Spizzirri registered three top-20 wins, two top-10 victories and capped it with a win over the No. 1 singles player in the country to clinch both doubles points and both overall matches in Texas’ wins against UTSA (7-0) and No. 12 Georgia (4-3).
After a hard-fought first set against No. 1 Ethan Quinn of Georgia, Spizzirri controlled the second and third sets, using an 8-0 run between them as the foundation of winning both at 6-1. The win clinched the match against Georgia at 4-1 before the 4-3 final. Spizzirri also was key in the Longhorns winning the doubles point against the Bulldogs partnering with junior Cleeve Harper for a 7-6 (4) win over the No. 19 duo of Quinn and Trent Bryde. Trailing, 5-3, and with the other two doubles matches having already been split, Spizzirri and Harper rallied to force a tiebreaker where they captured the only mini-break of the frame and clinched what turned out to be a crucial doubles point in dramatic fashion.
Two days prior to that against UTSA, Spizzirri and Harper had posted a top-10 doubles win over No. 6 Alan Magadan and Sebastian Rodriguez by a 6-3 score that also clinched that point. Spizzirri then won his singles match versus Tiago Torres to clinch after a third-set retirement by Torres, however Spizzirri had established control at that point with a 4-6, 6-2, 3-1 lead after a pair of 4-0 runs that came at the beginning of the second set and then one that crossed the end of the second and beginning of the third.
Spizzirri is now 16-3 in singles contests in 2022-23, having avenged two of those earlier losses that came to Quinn. His only other defeat came in the championship match of the ITA Fall Nationals. He is a perfect 3-0 in both singles and doubles in dual match play, leading the team to a 3-0 start that includes wins over top-15 opponents Florida and Georgia.
Texas returns to the court for the ITA Kickoff Weekend from Jan. 28-29. The Longhorns first host Cal on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT at the Texas Tennis Center.