FAYETTEVILLE – University of Arkansas senior Blake Strode received an at-large bid for the NCAA Men’s Tennis Singles Championship, the NCAA announced today. Strode will enter the championship as the No. 15 seed.
“Blake couldn’t be more deserving of an NCAA bid,” head Razorback coach Robert Cox said. “He’s put together a great year and a great career at Arkansas. He earned his current No. 15 ranking by defeating some great players throughout season. Nothing Blake has done this year or the previous three years was given to him, he earned every bit of it. Blake will be ready to go at the tournament and holds high expectations for himself once he gets there.”
Strode was one of two Razorbacks to post 22 singles victories over the course of the 2008-09 regular season. During the season Strode racked up six wins over top 40 opponents, including then-No. 2 Bruno Agostinelli (Kentucky), then-No. 6 Arnau Brugues (Tulsa) and then-No. 9 Bryan Koniekco (Ohio State).
Strode’s season also included advancing to the quarterfinals of the D’Novo/ITA All-American Championships and a berth in the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships.
This will be Strode’s second trip to the NCAA Championships. He entered the tournament unseeded as a sophomore in 2007, advancing to the round of 32. That same year he and doubles partner, former Razorback Colin Mascall, qualified for the NCAA Doubles Championship.
The NCAA singles draw will be announced May 19th, a day before competition begins on May 20th. The singles competition will run May 20-25 at Texas A&M’s George P. Mitchell Tennis Center in College Station, Texas. For more information on the NCAA Men’s Tennis Championships, visit ncaa.com.
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