FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ switched-up doubles’ lineup won the doubles point Sunday at Texas, but the 36th-ranked Razorbacks fell to the No. 23 Longhorns, 5-2, in Austin.
The Hogs’ record now stands at 2-4 this season, with all of UA’s losses coming against ranked opponents.
“We had a few ups and downs,” Razorback Coach Robert Cox said, “We showed some spark, but just not enough to get us over the hump. Give Texas credit. They have a great young, talented team.”
The Razorbacks got off to a great start by winning two of three doubles matches to take an early 1-0 advantage. Juniors Adrians Zguns and Rohan Gajjar played their first match this year in the No. 1 doubles spot, and defeated Texas’ pair of Callum Beale and Roger Gubser, 8-3. Zguns and Gajjar are 4-2 this season. Fellow junior Matt Roberts and senior Imraan Ismail played in the No. 2 slot, and edged UT’s Hubert Chodkiewicz and Travis Helgeson, 9-8. The win was Roberts and Ismail’s first of the spring after going 9-2 in the fall.
Texas took the match on the No. 3 doubles’ court, with Luis Diaz Barriga and Garrett Snyder beating Arkansas’ duo of senior Talley Parker and sophomore Andrei Nicoara, 8-3.
“One big up is we won a doubles point. We had a great comeback at number two doubles, where Matt and Imraan were down 7-3, love-40 and came back to win a tiebreaker.” Cox said, “We won a rare doubles’ point, so our work is paying off there. Zguns and Gajjar played very well at number one.”
Razorback sophomore Matt Simpson earned his first victory of the spring and the only singles’ point for UA with a 7-6, 6-4 triumph of Chodkiewicz at No. 5 singles.
“Matt Simpson was a bright spot,” Cox said, “He had a tough match at number five. Matt Roberts played a very good match at number three, but ended up losing a tough match in the third set.”
Two three-set victories helped the Longhorns pull out the dual-match win. Arkansas’ Roberts, ranked No. 72 in the nation in the latest ITA rankings, fell to No. 39 Helgeson at No. 3, 3-6, 7-6, 10-6. The loss evens Roberts’ spring record at 3-3. Arkansas freshman Jimmy Khougassian saw his record fall to 1-2 as a Razorback, losing 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, to Barriga in the No. 6 singles’ court.
The match on the No. 1 court featured UA’s Gajjar, ranked 63rd, against UT’s Beale, ranked 62nd. Gajjar dropped his season record to 4-2 this spring with a 7-6, 6-2 loss. At No. 2, Zguns fell to Texas’ 73rd-ranked Gubser 6-2, 7-6. Zguns is also 4-2 for the season. Ismail’s season record was evened a 3-3 with a 7-5, 6-4 setback to Milan Mihailovic.
“It’s kind of disappointing” Cox said, “because we didn’t play Hog tennis all the way through the singles’ lineup. We’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve got to get ready for SEC play because it sure doesn’t get any easier from here.”
Arkansas returns to the courts Friday when they travel to South Carolina for their SEC opener. The match is set for 1 p.m. in Columbia, S.C.
#23 Texas 5, #36 Arkansas 2
(Order of finish: 6, 4, 1, 2*, 5, 3)
1. #62 Callum Beale (Texas) def. #63 Rohan Gajjar (Ark) 7-6 (6), 6-2
2. #73 Roger Gubser (Texas) def. Adrians Zguns (Ark) 6-2, 7-6 (5)
3. #39 Travis Helgeson (Texas) def. #72 Matt Roberts (Ark) 3-6, 7-6 (6), 10-6
4. Milan Mihailovic (Texas) def. Imraan Ismail (Ark) 7-5, 6-4
5. Matt Simpson (Ark) def. Hubert Chodkiewicz (Texas) 7-6 (7), 6-4
6. Luis Diaz Barriga (Texas) def. Jimmy Khougassian (Ark) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
(Order of finish: 3, 1, 2*)
1. Gajjar/Zguns (Ark) def. Beale/Gubser (Texas) 8-3
2. Ismail/Roberts (Ark) def. Chodkiewicz/Helgeson (Texas) 9-8 (4)
3. Barriga/Snyder (Texas) def. Talley Parker/Andrei Nicoara (Ark) 8-3