Texas Tennis: Eliot Spizzirri finishes No. 1 in ITA singles rankings

Eliot Spizzirri, Texas Tennis (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Eliot Spizzirri, Texas Tennis (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images) /

Texas tennis star Eliot Spizzirri finished the 2022/23 season as the No. 1 ranked player in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings. The junior from Greenwich, Connecticut, becomes the second Longhorn to finish the season as the topped ranked collegiate singles player, along with Steve Bryan in 1990.

Spizzirri finished the season with a 36-5 singles record, holding a 20-1 mark in dual matches, all played at court No. 1. He held an 18-1 record against top-50 players and an 11-1 record against top-25 ranked players. Spizzirri raised his level when it mattered most, leading the Longhorns to 15 dual victories over top-25 ranked teams and a regular season Big 12 Title. He was also named the Big 12 Player of the Year and amassed a record-tying five-time Big 12 Player of the Week (tying his 2021 mark).

Texas tennis’ Eliot Spizzirri finishes No. 1 in ITA among singles

On top of being the No. 1 ranked singles player in the country, Spizzirri and doubles partner Cleeve Harper finished as the No. 2 pairing in the final ITA rankings after finishing runners-up at the 2023 NCAA Doubles Championships.

Spizzirri had very high expectations leading into his collegiate career. He was one of the top recruits in the country and the 2019 US Open Junior Doubles Champion. To say he lived up to the billing on the Forty Acres would be an understatement.

Spizzirri is a five-time ITA All-American (two singles, three doubles), holding an 84-25 singles record and an 80-42 doubles record over four seasons as a Longhorn. He helped lead Texas to two Final Four appearances as the line one player and has been an instrumental tone-setter for this program during his time in Austin. Not to mention, for nearly 18 months (from the summer of 2021 to Jan. 2023), Spizzirri was forced to play with one hand while dealing with a reoccurring left-wrist injury. The fact that he was able to get by and win matches at court No. 1 with one hand shows Spizzirri’s level of determination and skill.

This skill level will give the 21-year-old a real chance for a prosperous professional career.

Spizzirri holds a 14-11 record at the ITF Level – the lowest rung of professional tennis. He has captured two ITF titles, one in 2018 and the other in 2021. He also received a wild card into the singles qualifying round of the 2021 US Open, where he bested then ATP No. 163 Alejandro Tabilo 5–7, 7–6, 6–3 in the first round.

Throughout his collegiate career, Spizzirri has constantly harped on how close he and his teammates are. “I would argue we’re the closest team in the country, in any college sport,” Spizzirri told Longhorn Network’s Lowell Galindo. This is why a looming decision on whether or not to return to the Forty Acres for one more season may be more challenging than some outsiders think.

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Regardless of whether or not Spizzirri returns to Texas for one final season or chooses to start his professional journey, he has undoubtedly left his legacy in Austin and helped transform the Texas men’s tennis program for the better.