Early notes from Big 12 Friday

Just a quick update on the first group of matches here in Austin at the Big 12 Championships.

The early women’s match featured Baylor v. Colorado. As we all expected, this match was a cakewalk for the Bears, who steamrolled the Buffaloes, 4-0. It wasn’t close in any way shape or form. The Bears cruised to the doubles point, then captured line 1, 2 and 4 an hour later, losing only a combined three games along the way.

Here’s my post-match interview with Baylor head coach, Joey Scrivano.

The men’s match was much more interesting.

Texas Tech won a solid doubles point and promptly took a quick lead when Raony Carvalho played an incredible match, winning 61 62 over Beleleu. He looked amazing and was drilling that forehand, but the flat punishing backhand was also working.

OU evened the match with a pair of wins at 4 and 6 to make things somewhat interesting.

At the time, the remaining courts looked to be in control of the Red Raiders. Gonzalo Escobar was up a set and a break over Daescu at line 2, Rafael Garcia was up a set and a break over Costin Paval at 3 and Vitor Manzini was a set and a break over George Chanturia at line 5.

Well, first Daescu rallied, saving two match points, to get into a second set tiebreaker. At 5, Manzini was serving at 64 53 30-all. Then the rain started coming. It wasn’t much of a rain, rather a sprinkle, so play was disrupted for only about 10 minutes.

When play resumed, Manzini won the next two point to give Tech a 3-2 lead before the other courts could even get started.

OU’s Daescu cruised in the tiebreaker to force a third and appearing to gain the momentum. Escobar kept him cool and a very tight set ensued.

At line 3, Paval broke back then broke again when Garcia put an easy, mid-court put-away into the fence, send that match to a third set as well. Now the Red Raiders were officially nervous, having blown a 3-0 lead against Washington on these very same courts last year in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

But Escobar got a late break and held on to clinch the match at line 2, 6-4.

By post-match interview with Tim Siegel.

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