June 23, 2014
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Blaz Rola’s magical first year as a professional continued Monday morning as the former Buckeye NCAA champion advanced to the second round at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships after defeating Pablo Andujar (Spain) 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 at the All England Club in London. With the victory, Rola, a native of Ptuj, Slovenia, will face defending champion and No. 3 seed Andy Murray (Great Britain) at 1 p.m. London time Wednesday live on ESPN.
“When I saw the draw, when I saw that potentially I can play the second round against Andy, my motivation was off the charts,” Rola said. “It feels great to have this opportunity. I don’t think an up-and-coming tennis player could have asked for a better match-up, I’m facing probably the greatest sportsman in Britain in one of the greatest venues.”
Rola, who is currently ranked No. 92 in the world, claims his second career grand slam singles victory after reaching the second round at the 2014 Australian Open this past January. The 2013 Ohio State Athlete of the Year, Rola jumped into the ATP World Top 100 Rankings on May 5 and has peaked as high as 91 earlier this month. En route to his win over No. 80 Andujar, who made his fourth appearance at Wimbledon, Rola claimed 35 winners and claimed six break points. Murray also won in straight sets, winning 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 over Goffin of Belgium.
“I’m not shocked that Blaz Rola advanced at his first Wimbledon,” head coach and director of tennis Ty Tucker said. “He is a true professional every step of the way. It’s great he has been able to accomplish his goals this year, reaching the Top 100 and play in Grand Slams. Sooner or later, Blaz Rola will be a guy that makes the Round of 16 at a grand slam tournament.”
Rola finished his OSU career with a 110-15 singles record after defeating Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia in 2013 to become the program’s first NCAA singles champion. He is the third Buckeye in school history to compete at Wimbledon (Roger Smith, 1989, Francisco Gonzalez, 1981, 1984 and 1985). Rola also won the NCAA doubles title in 2012 paired with Chase Buchanan.