TULSA, Okla. – It was a tough day to be a seeded player at the Saint Francis ITA All-American Championships Thursday, as 12 of the 16 lost on opening day, including Ole Miss men’s tennis junior Nik Scholtz, eliminated in the second round.
Scholtz, ranked No. 7 in the nation and seeded No. 6 in the 64-player draw, won his first round defeating 23rd-ranked Alex Sarkissian of Pepperdine 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the second round.
In the second round, Scholtz faced a somewhat familiar opponent, in Baylor’s Julian Lenz. The two faced each other last spring, when Ole Miss defeated Baylor 4-2. Scholtz came back to win that one in three sets, but this time the comeback would fall just short.
One break decided the first set 6-3 in favor of Lenz, who is ranked No. 38 in the nation. Lenz gained an early break in the second and led it 5-2, before Scholtz won two straight games. Scholtz could not get another break, as Lenz held to win it 6-4.
The ITA All-American Championships is the first major individual event of the year, which includes the ITA National Indoor in November and the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships in May.
The Rebels will now turn their attention to the ITA Southern Regional Championships, which begin next Oct. 10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Scholtz is the defending champion in singles.
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