FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Arkansas men’s tennis team openred its 2008 spring season by picking up eight singles wins Friday at the Shocker Invitational hosted by Wichita State University. At the event formatted to named a singles and doubles champion, nine Razorbacks opened the competition against players from Wichita State.
“It’s always good to start the season with good wins,” head coach Robert Cox said. “The guys were able to get their nerves and butterflies out and play well in the process.”
No. 76 Blake Strode opened his spring season with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 win over Tiago Santo. Freshman Chris Nott was also extended to three sets against Albert Ballesta after dropping the first. Nott rebounded from the first-set loss to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Dmitry Lebedev also won in three sets, defeating Thiago Santos, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
Senior Colin Mascall dropped a tight three-set decision to Adrian Chermaci. Mascall won the first set in a tiebreaker, but lost the next two to open the season with a 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(6) loss.
Bradwin Williams and Taylor King were also victorious in their season debuts with straight-set wins. Williams beat Kevin Gardner, 6-2, 6-4, while King bested Rodrigo Briceno, 6-3, 6-1.
Three Razorback freshman picked up wins in the season opener. Tyler Tarnasky defeated Scott McCormick, 6-2, 6-2, and Nick Spinazze picked up a 6-0, 6-0 victory against Briceno, who was playing his second match of the day. Mid-year addition Matt Hogan, playing his first event as a Razorback, won when his opponent was injured in the second set. Hogan was leading 6-2, 3-0 when Jonathan Obrist retired.
Arkansas returns to the courts Saturday against players from Illinois State. Doubles matches will begin at 2:30 p.m. and singles are set to start at 5 p.m. The Shocker Invitational is set up to crown individual champions in each flight based on a point system. Log on to www.hogwired.com for complete results and continued coverage of Razorback tennis.
#76 Blake Strode def. Tiago Santo, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
Chris Nott def. Albert Ballesta, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
Dmitry Lebedev def. Thiago Santos, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
Matt Hogan def. Jonathan Obrist, 6-2, 3-0 (ret.)
Adrian Chermaci def. Colin Mascall, 6-7(6), 6-4, 7-6(6)
Tyler Tarnasky def. Scott McCormick, 6-2, 6-2
Bradwin Williams def. Kevin Gardner, 6-2, 6-4
Taylor King def. Rodrigo Briceno, 6-3, 6-1
def. Rodrigo Briceno, 6-0, 6-0