In the midst of one of the hottest Australian Open's ever, one player was able to further add to his legacy in the Ohio State athletics history books. Blaz Rola, who played for the OSU men's tennis team from 2010 to 2013, made his first appearance in a Grand Slam tournament (not counting the Davis Cup) Monday when he took on Frederico Delbonis in the first round of the Aussie Open. Rola defeated Delbonis, 6-4 6-2 7-5 in the opening round in Melbourne, and advanced to second round play where he faced Martin Klizan of Slovakia. Unfortunately, Rola fell short to Klizen in a tough four set match losing the last set in a tiebreaker, 4-6 3-6 7-5 6-7(2).
Here's what Ty Tucker, Ohio State's men's tennis coach, had to say about Rola's first grand slam win:
"I'm not shocked at all that he won his match. We thought as a coaching staff that college tennis has made him more of an all-around tennis player. He faced a guy that beat Roger Federer on a clay court six months ago but did not have as much experience on hard courts as Rola has gained after playing college tennis the last three years."
Rola, a native of Ptuj, Slovenia, was a four time All-American with Ohio State, and during the 2013 season reeled in the NCAA singles title. Rola becomes the second tennis player from OSU to ever post a grand slam victory. Although Rola was sent packing empty handed from Melbourne, it is safe to say that the youngster has a bright future and will forever be remembered as a Buckeye great.