COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Two years ago, University of Arkansas men’s tennis player Blake Strode was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship. This year, Strode will make his first career trip to the Sweet Sixteen after besting Rudolf Siwy of Fresno State, 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday.
“Blake played a good, solid match today,” head Razorback coach Robert Cox said. “Siwy is a quality opponent who has been very successful against our team in the past and he and Blake played well against each other.”
Dominant from the first, Strode (24-11) only was broken once, in the first set, as he dismissed Siwy (25-13) in under two hours. Against Siwy’s serve, Strode earned numerous breakpoint chances and three breaks during the match. The No. 15-seed in the tournament, Strode needed only one break in the second set to close out the match.
Strode’s 95 career victories are the fifth most singles wins in Razorback history.
Awaiting Strode in the round of 16 at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center is No. 2-seed Oleksandr Nedovyesov from Oklahoma State. Nedovyesov is 35-6 on the season and defeated Strode earlier this season in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.
“Blake has to continue to play well,” Cox said. “The level of competition moves up a notch starting tomorrow with Blake’s match against the nation’s No. 2 player, Nedovyesov. We’re looking forward to seeing a great round of 16 match tomorrow between these two.”
For updated results and live video coverage from the 2009 NCAA Singles Championships, log on to http://www.aggieathletics.com/ncaa2009/tennis/index.html.
For more information and for complete coverage of Arkansas men’s tennis, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.