FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas is the only school in the country with four singles players ranked among the nation’s top 55 in the latest FILA Intercollegiate Tennis rankings, which were released Wednesday.
Georgia, Texas and Virginia each have three among the top 55. In his 19th year as the head coach at Arkansas, Robert Cox says it’s a first for him.
“It’s phenomenal,” he says. “It’s hard to get three in the top 100, much less four in the top 55. There are about 300 programs in the country and they each have about 10 players, so for us to have four of the top 55 out of 3,000 players is unbelievable.”
Senior Adrians Zguns, unranked in the previous poll released in January, is 25th in this week’s poll. The Liepafa, Latvia, native is 16-3 this season, 8-0 in dual matches and 5-1 against ranked opponents. Zguns is currently tied for fourth on UA’s career wins list with 94.
Fellow senior Matt Roberts appears at No. 40 in the latest rankings. Roberts, 24th in the January rankings, is 16-5 this year and 7-2 in duals. The Little Rock native has won 12 of his last 15 contests.
Blake Strode is immediately behind Roberts at No. 41. The freshman from St. Louis, Mo., had a fantastic fall which propelled him to No. 19 in the January rankings. Strode is 14-2 this season, 6-0 in duals and is 3-0 against ranked players.
Senior Rohan Gajjar jumped 45 spots from No. 100 to No. 55 this week. Gajjar defeated No. 6 Treat Huey of Virginia in the ITA National Indoors. The Mumbia, India, product is 11-4 this season and 6-1 in duals.
The Hogs also sport the nation’s 22nd-ranked doubles team in Gajjar and Roberts. The pair is 9-2 this season, including a 6-2 dual-match record and win over the 23rd-ranked team of Alexei Ivanov and Marek Velicka of Oklahoma.
In the team rankings, Arkansas jumped from No. 46 to No. 25 after knocking off No. 11 and preseason No. 1 Virginia, 4-2, at the ITA National Indoors in Seattle, Wash., last week.
The Razorbacks are off until Friday, March 3, when they host top-ranked and ITA National Indoor Champion Georgia. The Hogs and Bulldogs are set for a 1:30 p.m. start time.