By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
A good first step for Blake
The University of Arkansas All-American and future Harvard Law student opened up his hunt for a U.S. Open main draw berth with a 3-6, 5-2 win over veteran Brit Alex Bogdanovic.
Strode won after Bogdanovic — a pro since 2002 — retired due to injury. Strode had all the momentum in the world as well as the crowd when his opponent retired.
Strode — currently ranked no. 641st in the world — tried to qualify last year, but lost in the first round. He is beyond that now. 16 qualifiers will make it into the main draw.
Qualifying ended on Friday and there is a total of $1,000,000 in prize money in the event. A native of from Missouri, Strode was a high school valedictorian and State Champion in tennis.
He chose to go to a tennis power in Arkansas. His father, Lester, is a former minor league pitcher and the current bullpen coach for the Chicago Cubs.
In order for Blake to make an attempt at professional tennis, his parents made him take the LSAT. He scored well and was accepted into Harvard, Georgetown and Columbia among others.
He has deferred his acceptance for two years to make an attempt at tennis.
It’s been a good choice so far.
EDITORS’ NOTE: Strode lost in the second round of qualifying for the U.S. Open on Friday when he fell 7-5, 7-5 to 148th ranked Ivan Dodig of Croatia at the National Tennis Center in New York.