It was a historic day for Ohio State tennis. Blaz Rola, a former Buckeye NCAA champion, faced defending champion Andy Murray Wednesday in front of thousands of fans at the All England Club in the second round of The Championships after becoming the first Buckeye in 29 years to win a match at Wimbledon. In his first professional year and second career Grand Slam, Rola fell quickly 6-1, 6-1, 6-0 to one of the game’s elite players but gained experience any former college star would dream to have.
“It’s too bad Rola couldn’t get off to a decent start,” Ohio State head coach Ty Tucker said. “It’s a tough match to play on television with commentators talking about you – a lot is running through your mind. He couldn’t break out. It wasn’t anywhere near his best tennis, but to make the Top 100 and two grand slams in his first pro year is a great accomplishment. I really believe Blaz Rola will have Top 50 potential.”
Rola won the match’s first point but double-faulted on the next, and it couldn’t recover against the efficient Murray, who claimed seven aces and 27 winners, while claiming points on 79 percent of his first serves.
Murray, who has won 15-consecutive matches at the All England Club, had good things to say about the former Buckeye. He will face the winner of No. 27 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and Jan Hernych in the third round.
“It was tough for Rola,” Murray said. “He just came out of college and hasn't had much experience on grass. He will keep improving. He has a good game."