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Friday’s Recap: An Upset and More for Woldeab

siem on friday

Siem Woldeab was able to finish what he started. The UT-Austin senior began Friday’s play at the Greenview Development & Majestic Realty Men’s Pro Tennis Open 2023 with the biggest upset of the event, taking down the top-seeded Federico Agustin Gomez of Argentina, 6-1, 4-6, 12-10. Woldeab, pictured above, had won the first set in dominant fashion on Thursday before rain stopped play. On Friday, Gomez gained some momentum against Woldeab, a qualifier playing on his home courts at the Texas Tennis Center. But Woldeab held strong and won the championship tiebreak set, earning himself a spot in the quarterfinals. 

“Going into the match with the one-seed you don’t want to overestimate him,” Woldeab said of his 26-year-old opponent, who outranked him on the ATP Tour by No. 373 to No. 1,531. “I came in and was just telling myself that he’s a really good player but that my level is there too and if I’m playing well I know I can beat anyone. It got a little dicey there at the end but I was able to get it through.” 

Starting off the day on Court 3, current Longhorn Eliot Spizzirri got the best of former Longhorn Colin Markes, 6-1, 6-2. Spizzirri is among the next generation of Longhorns rising in the tennis ranks and is the 2023 ITA National Player of the Year. Spizzirri dictated the style of play the entire match. 

Pierre Yves Bailly, a junior at UT-Austin, won two matches by default after both of his opponents retired. In the round of 32, Bailly took the first set 6-2 over second-seeded Blaise Bicknell and was up 2-0 in the second when Bicknell retired. Later in the day, Bailly defeated Micah Braswell, his college teammate and the reigning champion in Austin, 7-6, 3-0 when Braswell also retired. Bailly will face Spizzirri, his Longhorn teammate, in Saturday’s semifinals.

In another quarterfinal, fourth-seeded Learner Tien defeated No. 5 Edward Winter, his doubles partner, 6-3, 6-3. 

In the final singles match of the day, Woldeab returned to the court for a quarterfinals match against sixth-seeded Duarte Vale and scored another upset, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. He will face Tien in Saturday’s semifinals.

Starting off the doubles semifinals, Tien and Winter defeated fourth-seeded Jody Maginley and Joshua Sheehy, 6-2, 6-4. 

“There’s a lot of respect between the both of us,” the 19-year-old Winter said of Tien, his 17-year-old teammate. “It was a good match this morning. It was good to get out there and play together rather than against each other.”

On Court 3, former Texas teammates matched up against current Texas teammates. Current Longhorns Cleeve Harper and Spizzirri topped the third-seeded Texas Exes Colin Markes and Christian Sigsgaard, 6-2, 6-4. 

Following a rest for the players finishing singles matches, the doubles play resumed. 

Playing for the final spot in the semifinals, Duarte Vale and Zsombor Velcz upset the second-seeded team of Patrick Harper and Mark Wallner, 7-5, 7-5. 

In the only doubles semifinal of the day, the unseeded American team of Sebastian Gorzny and Brayden Michna defeated Harper and Spizzirri, the two Longhorns,  6-3, 5-7, 10-7, to clinch their spot in the final. 

Article and photograph by Bevo Video Productions, a division of Texas Student Media at UT-Austin’s Moody College of Communication