WACO, Tx. – After a strong first day at the HEB Baylor Invitational at the Baylor Tennis Center, the Razorbacks leave the tournament, having been eliminated in the quarterfinals in both singles and doubles.
Early Saturday morning, Matt Hogan and Blake Strode took on the 30th ranked team in the country, and the tournament three-seed from New Mexico State, Eduardo Salas and Roman Stoisavljevic in their doubles quarterfinal match. After beating two nationally ranked teams on Friday in Waco, Hogan and Strode fell to Salas and Stoisavljevic 8-5.
“Blake and Matt had a great tournament in doubles, they beat some very talented teams,” said Razorbacks coach Robert Cox.
Strode moved on to his singles matches, first facing the eighth seeded Christoph Muller from Rice. Muller, ranked 35 in the preseason national poll, was no match for the Senior Hog and lost in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. In his afternoon quarterfinal, Strode played another difficult match against the second best singles player in the nation, Baylor’s Denes Luckas, seeded second in the weekend’s competition. As in his earlier doubles match, Strode failed to make the semifinals, losing 7-6(4), 6-4 to Luckas.
“Blake making the quarterfinals is a great start to his senior year,” said Cox. “We hope to see more of the same from his throughout the year.”
In the consolation tournament, Chris Nott matched up with Sam Garfoth-Bies of Rice in the round of 16, breezing through the match 6-3, 6-0. In the consolation singles quarterfinals, Oklahoma State’s Anton Bobytskyi proved too much for Nott, removing him from the tournament 7-5, 6-4.
“Chris came back after losing in the first round of the main draw to win some matches in the consolation tournament, which I’m very pleased with,” Cox said.
Even though Arkansas won’t head to the courts on Sunday, Cox believes this weekend was a success for all three of his players.
“It was a great opening weekend for Strode, Nott, and Hogan,” said Cox. “Now we have to build on what we did this weekend and focus on preparing for next weekend’s tournament.
The Hogs will be back in action next weekend at the South Carolina Invitational in Columbia, S.C. For complete men’s tennis coverage, log on to www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com.