Bulls drop two in Estrada’s absence

While the Bulls were on the road, one of their top players stayed at home.

With major players injured, the South Florida men’s tennis team lost both of its matches this weekend, falling 4-1 to No. 19 Louisville on Saturday and 4-3 to No. 55 Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday.

Junior Thomas Estrada was absent from the trip because he stayed in Tampa to undergo treatment for an injured right wrist.

“I felt disappointed … the guys called me and said: ‘If you were there we would have won the match for sure,'” he said.

On Thursday, a doctor advised Estrada to not attend the weekend’s matches. His MRI and X-ray reports were normal, but tendonitis is expected to be the source of Estrada’s pain, which started three weeks ago. He is scheduled to receive a cortisone shot today
at 9 a.m.

“It’s to relieve me of the pain so I can play for the next match, and then I’ll be ready for the Big East (championships),” he said.

Estrada said his pain has increased since last week.

“I’ve been talking to (USF trainer) Nate (Wood), and we’re going to do a lot of rehab,” he said. “I’m going to be working every single day … I don’t want to know that the team is losing because I couldn’t go.”

Louisville was the Bulls’ fourth conference opponent. USF holds a 2-2 record in the Big East.

Estrada and sophomore Lucas Jovita are the No. 44 doubles team in the nation. Freshman Romain Deridder replaced Estrada as Jovita’s partner. The newly formed duo had a 1-1 record this weekend.

Deridder recently recovered from a rotator cuff injury, and Jovita has come back from a wrist injury.

“We’ve got to do some last preparations to get everyone healthy for the championships coming up,” said USF coach Don Barr. “That’s my main concern right now.”

The Bulls (10-7) face Marquette at 2 p.m. April 13, then head to the Big East championships, which they host at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts from April 16-19.

 “(Marquette is) a conference match, so we have to do everything we can to beat them,” Estrada said. “Then, hopefully, I’ll be ready for (the Big East), and we’ve got to win the championship.”