TULSA, Okla. – It was a tough day to be a seeded player at the ITA All-American Championships, with 10 seeds in singles and three in doubles going down on the first day, including Ole Miss men’s tennis players Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen.
In singles, Scholtz, seeded No. 4, downed Daniel Kreyman of Wake Forest, 6-4, 6-2 in the first round, before dropping a 6-2, 7-5 decision to 42nd-ranked Soren Hess-Olesen of Texas in the afternoon. Hess-Olesen played No. 1 singles for the Longhorns last year and earned the ITA Texas Region Player to Watch Award.
Lutjen faced a familiar opponent in his first round match, Georgia’s Nathan Pasha, who he defeated earlier this year en route to the Southern Intercollegiate singles title. This time, however, Pasha came out on top in three sets. Lutjen led 5-1 in the first set, but Pasha came back to make it interesting, before the Schessel, Germany native closed him out 6-4. Pasha would win the second and third sets 6-3, 6-3 to advance.
In the back draw, Lutjen, ranked No. 21 in the nation, rallied to defeat 16th-ranked Ben McLachlan of Cal-Berkeley 0-6, 6-4, 6-2. He will face LSU’s Chris Simpson in the second round at 9 a.m.
Once Lutjen was finished with his consolation match, he and Scholtz had to wait around for nearly three hours to play their doubles match against the Clemson team of Dominique Maden and Yannick Maden, not going on court until after eight. Scholtz and Lutjen, the top seeds and ranked No. 2 in the nation, fell behind a break early. They got back to 4-5 serving, but the Tiger duo won the final three games for the 8-4 victory. The Rebel duo will play in the consolation doubles Friday.
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