22 Jan

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Granic garners big honors, No. 6 women’s tennis shines in 2019 debut

Petra Granic netted Big 12 Women's Tennis Player of the Week with her near-perfect sweep to the singles title at the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

AUSTIN — Gaining a near-perfect sweep through five singles matches over the weekend, Petra Granic earned Big 12 Conference Women’s Tennis Player of the Week honors Tuesday.

Granic ran through her foes, picking up five consecutive wins as she brought home the singles title at the Freeman Memorial Championships in Las Vegas over the weekend.

The Texas junior netted the wins while losing just one set, in the championship match, as she bested a field that included six of the top 11 teams ranked nationally

After losing the very first set against Pepperdine's Adriana Lekaj Sunday, she bounced back fully for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory to claim the singles title over the 32-player field.

“Clearly the stellar performer was Petra Granic,” head coach Howard Joffe said. “She joins a list of past singles champions at this event that includes five or six NCAA individual champions.”

On top of Granic’s performance, the Longhorns pairing of sophomore Bojana Markovic and Fernanda Labraña opened play Sunday in the semifinals with a 7-5 victory against Stanford's Melissa Lord and Niluka Madurawe. However, in the championship match, Markovic and Labraña suffered a 6-2 defeat at the hands of UNLV’s Aiwen Zhu and En-Pei Huang.

"We had a very successful weekend,” Joffe said. “(Bojana) Markovic and (Fernanda) Labraña represented us very well in the doubles final. They had an excellent semifinal win over a good pair from Stanford before falling in the final. Markovic also beat the No. 9 player in the country in singles on Friday, and Anna Turati beat the 2018 NCAA singles runner-up (Ashley Lahey of Pepperdine) on Saturday.”

A standout through the fall, Turati netted a 6-3, 6-1 victory against No. 11 Elysia Bolton (UCLA). Additionally, senior Katie Poluta rallied for a 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-3) win against UNLV's Anna Bogoslavets.

"Everyone chipped in and we had some good doubles play in general," Joffe said. "The team is very well set and excited for our ITA Kick-off Weekend in Austin."

In added doubles contests, Turati and Poluta snagged a 6-1 win over Florida's Anastasia Kharitonova and Marlee Zein.

Granic also paired with freshman Tijana Spasojevic Granic for a 2-1 showing in doubles play during the tournament.

Texas opens its 2019 dual-match season when it hosts Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, Jan. 26 as part of the ITA Kick-Off Weekend.

First serve is set for 11 a.m. CT at the Texas Tennis Center. The Longhorns will then face either Baylor or Wichita State on Sunday, Jan. 27 (10 a.m. CT or 1 p.m. CT).