TULSA, Okla. – Junior Blake Strode opened his fall season Thursday with a 6-3, 6-3 loss to Texas’ Dimitar Kutrovsky in the first round of the Polo Ralph Lauren All-American Tennis Championships. In consolation play, Strode played Ricardo Soriano of Tulsa, but fell in two tight sets, 7-5, 6-4, at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center on the University of Tulsa campus.
“Although, (Blake) didn’t come out on top the winning end today, he played some good tennis,” head coach Robert Cox said.
In first-round doubles action, Strode and teammate Colin Mascall built a 7-4 lead against Harvard’s Sasha Ermakov and Ashwin Kumar, but couldn’t hold on to the advantage. Harvard fought back to win the match, 9-8(4).
“We were playing some tremendous tennis, we just couldn’t close it out,” Cox said. “We’ll come out and play hard again tomorrow. It’s very competitive playing the nation’s best, but obviously we expect to come out on top.”
The following day, the Razorback duo faced the team of Robert Farah and Kaes Van’t Hof from Southern California in consolation doubles action. Farah and Van’t Hof pulled out the 8-5 victory ending Strode and Mascall’s competition at the All-American.
The Razorbacks will next compete Oct. 12-14 at the South Carolina Invitational in Columbia, S.C. For complete results and continued coverage of Arkansas tennis, log on to www.hogwired.com.