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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Photo by Photo by Connor May

Sophomore Giulio Perego hits the ball at the Mitchell Outdoor Tennis Center on April 1, 2023.

The No. 18 Texas A&M men’s tennis team earned head coach Steve Denton his 350th career win in its 4-2 victory over the No. 26 Auburn Tigers in the first round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend at the Duckworth Family Tennis Facility in Clemson.

A&M would strike first earning the doubles point with two familiar teams both grabbing wins.

The dynamic A&M duo of junior Giulio Perego and sophomore Togan Tokac secured their third win of the season as the Italian and Turkish combo is proving to be a powerful one this season. They defeated Auburn’s team of fifth-years Raul Dobai and Finn Murgett 6-0.

Another recurring combination for A&M was victorious as the team of Frenchman senior Raphael Perot and freshman Tiago Pires earned their second victory of the season.

Despite the age difference, the fellow countrymen have proved to have lethal chemistry in doubles play this season. They won 6-4 over Auburn’s redshirt freshman Nicholas Heng and fifth-year Tyler Stice.

The two victories secured the point for A&M, as the third match between the Aggie pair of juniors Luke Casper and JC Roddick against the Tiger’s sophomore Billy Blaydes and junior Will Nolan went unfinished.

Heading into singles play A&M led Auburn 1-0. The Aggies extended their lead after their highest-ranked player No. 93 Casper defeated the Tigers Heng in two sets 6-1, 6-4. Casper secured his first win of the season after not appearing in A&M’s last match vs Georgia Southern.

With the score reading 2-0 in favor of A&M, Auburn bounced right back, proving that the War Eagle had plenty left in the tank. The Tigers tied the score up 2-2 with two straight victories.

Blaydes defeated Perego 7-5, 6-3, handing him his first loss of the season. Then Murgett toppled Tokac 6-2, 7-6, the Aggie sophomore has struggled in singles play this year with a record of 0-3.

With it all tied up 2-2 and a chance to move on to the next round the Fightin’ Farmers proved to have the clutch factor, defeating Auburn’s two highest-ranked players to earn the win. Perot defeated No. 58 Stice 6-1, 7-6, followed by No. 109 Roddick beating No. 77 Dobai 6-4, 7-6.

With the victory over Auburn, Denton officially made it 350 career wins, but more importantly, his squad moves on to the next round of ITA Kickoff Weekend and will face the winner of No. 19 Georgia vs Louisiana at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens on Monday, Jan. 29.

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Matthew Seaver
Matthew Seaver, Sports Reporter
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