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All-American run ends in quarterfinals for Strode

BY ANDRES FOCIL
All-American run ends in quarterfinals for Strode

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Blake Strode lost a three-set match to Michael Venus of LSU, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, in Saturday’s quarterfinal round at the 2008 D’Novo All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. The senior Razorback netter, the 41st-ranked player in the nation, enjoyed a career-best run at the prestigious ITA fall event which included two wins over top-10 opponents. By earning a spot in the final eight, Strode secured a spot in the ITA National Indoor event to be played later this fall. “Of course we would prefer a win, but (Blake) had a great couple of days here,” head coach Robert Cox said. “He played some very good tennis against tough players and to qualify for the National Indoor tournament for the first time in his career is another great achievement he can take away from this.” After splitting the first two sets, Venus, the nation’s No. 20 player, jumped out to an early lead in the third set after a break of Strode’s service. The Razorback netter couldn’t earn the break back and lost to his SEC counterpart. Because Strode has qualified for National Indoors already, Cox said his No. 1 singles player will not compete in the singles draw in this week’s ITA Central Regional event being played in Fayetteville. However, Strode will team with Matt Hogan in the doubles draw. The Central Regional tournament will be played Oct. 16-20 at the George M. Billingsley Tennis Center and Dills Indoor Stadium on the UA campus. The Razorbacks will play host to the region’s 15 teams in the singles and doubles tournament. Early round action will make use of Arkansas’ indoor and outdoor facilities until the competition reaches the quarterfinal round where all play will take place inside the Dills Indoor Stadium. For more information about the ITA Central Regional event and Razorback tennis, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Tennis (M)