An interesting decision

By Richard Kent, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: July 26, 2010

CONNECTICUT (BASN) — Choosing the U.S. Open over Harvard Law School is an unusual choice. But not so unusual for Blake Strode, the 522nd-ranked tennis player in the world.

And after all there will be time for Harvard Law in the future. They are holding a position for him. Strode just won the inaugural national qualifying event to earn a spot in the U.S. Open qualifying round in late August at Flushing Meadows.

The event was held nationally spread over a couple of months and Strobe defeated tour veteran Cecil Mamiit 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 in the finals at Atlanta. Mamiit had once been ranked as high as No. 72 in the world.

Last year, Strode played in the Open qualifiers but lost 6-3, 6-1 in the first round. He attributed the loss to a “lack of preparation.” Not so this year he says. He has gone through too much to get into the qualifiers.

Strode, 23, was an All-American player at the University of Arkansas and also an excellent student. He was accepted into Harvard Law School last year, but deferred his decision to play professional tennis.

Harvard is one of the top three law schools in the country. He has no regrets.

The Strode match with Mamiit was played in Atlanta to coincident with an ATP tourney there. The final was exciting throughout with both players playing at a very high level.

Strode had entered the event as the no. 1 seed and Mamiit as the no. 2 seed. Form held true. They had each run through their opposition with ease to reach the final.

The women’s qualifying final will be held next weekend.