WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – University of Arkansas men’s tennis showed its strength once again on Sunday, this time besting the Purdue Boilermakers, 5-2 at the Dennis J. and Mary Lou Schwartz Tennis Center. Two weeks into dual play, the top of the No. 47 Hogs’ lineup is proving to be a solid wall for opponents to come up against. “I couldn’t be prouder of the way the guys at the top of the lineup played today,” head Arkansas coach Robert Cox said. “Purdue is a very well coached and very talented team so it was a very good day on the court for us.”
Sophomore Chris Nott, moved to No. 2 singles on Sunday against Roberto Cabrini, and had no trouble getting past the Boilermaker, 6-1, 6-0. Likewise, at No. 1 singles, No. 15 Blake Strode handled Slavko Bijelica easily, 6-1, 6-4.
Clinching the victory for the Razorbacks (2-2) was Dmitry Lebedev at the No. 4 position against P.J. Rose. Lebedev won the first set with ease before getting a late break in the second set and earning the win, 6-2, 7-5.
Playing at No. 3 singles against Purdue’s Eric Ramos, No. 39 Matt Hogan played the longest match of the day. Hogan started the match with a strong, 6-2 first set win but dropped the second set to Ramos, forcing a third set. A late break for Hogan gave the Hogs their fifth point of the match, the final score, 6-2, 5-7, 7-5.
The bottom of the Razorbacks’ lineup struggled on Sunday, Paul Foley dismissing Tyler Tarnasky in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4 and Griff Nienberg getting the best of Taylor King, 6-4, 7-6, 1-0.
In doubles, the Hogs won the point behind the No. 2 team of Nott and Lebedev, the hottest doubles team for the Hogs right now with a 4-0 record through two weekends of dual match play. Playing against Rose and partner Branko Kuzmanovic, the duo recorded an, 8-5 victory for Arkansas.
The Hogs’ top doubles team, Strode and Hogan, ranked No. 14, secured the doubles point with their, 9-8, comeback win over Bijelica and Nienberg in the No. 1 position.
“Blake and Matt were down 7-4 in doubles,” Cox said. “For them to comeback and win 9-8 like they did was fantastic. It’s good to see that our top doubles team can comeback in a situation like that, being one game away from losing and being able to turn it around. Their doubles win, I think, helped propel us into our singles success today.”
At No. 3 doubles, King and Tarnasky were unable to keep up with Foley and Ramos, falling, 8-3.
“We fought a good match today,” Cox said. “We got better this weekend too and we’re ready to head home and defend our home court.”
The Razorbacks head home this week, hosting the Razorback Invitational Friday Feb. 13 through Sunday Feb. 15. Wichita State, Pacific and Oregon will be in town for the Invite and the Hogs will face Oregon in their first match of the weekend on Friday night at 5:30 p.m. at Dills Indoor Stadium. For complete coverage of Arkansas men’s tennis, log onto ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
#47 Arkansas 5, Purdue 2February 8, 2009West Lafayette, Ind.
Singles1. #15 Blake Strode (UA) def. Slavko Bijelica (PU), 6-1, 6-42. Chris Nott (UA) def. Roberto Cabrini (PU), 6-1, 6-03. #39 Matt Hogan (UA) def. Eric Ramos (PU), 6-2, 5-7, 7-5*4.Dmitry Lebedev (UA) def. P.J. Rose (PU), 6-2, 7-55. Paul Foley (PU) def. Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 6-1, 6-46. Griff Nienberg (PU) def. Taylor King (UA), 6-4, 7-6, 1-0
Doubles1. #14 Blake Strode/Matt Hogan (UA) def. Slavko Bijelica/Griff Nienberg (PU), 9-82. Dmitry Lebedev/Chris Nott (UA) def. Branko Kuzmanovic/P.J. Rose (PU), 8-53. Paul Foley/Eric Ramos (PU) def. Taylor King/Tyler Tarnasky (UA), 8-3
Order of Finish:Doubles – 3, 2, 1Singles – 2, 1, 4, 5, 6, 3*-clinching match