NORMAN, Okla. – Peerakit Siributwong threw the knockout punch for Oklahoma as the Sooners opened Big 12 play in dramatic fashion Friday, upsetting No. 4 Texas, 4-3, at the Headington Family Tennis Center.
In the night’s final match, Siributwong dropped his first set to Vasko Mladenov 6-4 but managed to fight off two match-points to eventually win the second-set tiebreaker, 7-6(7). The Thailand native trailed 4-2 in the third set, but rallied to take the final four points earn the win, 7-6.
“What an effort by Mihov and Siributwong at the end. They both played unbelievable and it was just a great way to end a tennis match,” Oklahoma head coach John Roddick added.
Roddick is now 2-1 all-time against the Longhorns. In their most recent meeting, the Sooners ousted Texas from the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Athens, Ga., after defeating the Longhorns 4-2 in the Round of 16.
“Wow, that is what college tennis is all about,” Roddick said. “It came down to a great match where guys were literally having break-points the whole time, fighting back, getting nervous and fighting through it. Overall, I am just really proud of our guys. It was a great team effort.”
Oklahoma struck first by taking the doubles point after winning battles at the No. 2 and 3 positions.
OU’s Laurntiu Gavrila teamed up with Lawrence Formentera to rout the Longhorns’ Mladenov and Daniel Whitehead 8-1, at No. 3.
Trailing 5-3 at the No. 2 spot, the Sooners’ Costin Paval and Peerakit Siributwong rallied to take down UT’s No. 28-ranked duo comprised of Kellen Damico and David Holiner 8-6.
“It was huge as we played great at two and three tonight,” said Roddick. “At one, we fought hard and lost, but we played better there. That was the best we have played all year at three and two was pretty close to the best. I knew if we didn’t win the doubles point we could beat them, but it was going to be a heck of a lot harder.”
In singles, Texas came back to take the lead, 2-0, after winning at the No. 2 and 3 spots in straight-sets.
Oklahoma’s Formentera, a sophomore, evened the score after taking a straight-set victory at the No. 5 spot against UT’s Daniel Whitehead 7-5, 6-4.
“Lawrence kept us in it by winning that early point at five,” Roddick said. “It was a great team effort.”
The Longhorns’ took their final lead of the night after UT’s 33rd-ranked Corrie defeated OU’s Beleleu, ranked No. 34, 7-6(2), 6-2, at the No. 1 spot.
With the match favoring the Longhorns’ all eyes turned to the final two matches at the Nos. 4 and 6 positions, where OU’s Siributwong and Tsvetan Mihov were battling Texas’ Mladenov and Sudanwa Sitaram, respectively.
At the No. 6 spot, Mihov dropped a heated first set 6-7(4) to Sitaram, but rallied to take the final two sets 6-2, 7-6(4). Following Mihov’s win the score was deadlocked at three.