COLUMBUS, Ohio- Blaz Rola, a junior on the Ohio State men's tennis team, remains in contention at the 2013 NCAA Singles Championship after beating No. 8 seed Henrique Cunha of Duke, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, Saturday afternoon at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.
Rola, ranked 12th in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association polls and the Big Ten's at-large singles selection, will face the winner between Evan King of Michigan and Japie De Klerk of Tulsa Sunday. For updated singles and doubles brackets, including updated start times, log on to the official NCAA Tournament Central page.
For the second time in his Buckeye career, Rola has advanced to the national semifinals. In 2012, Rola faced Kentucky's and No. 3 seed Eric Quigley in the NCAA semifinals and dropped a 6-2, 6-1 decision. So far, Rola, a native of Slovenia, is 11-2 all-time in the NCAA Singles Championship. Improving to 30-1 overall in 2013, Rola has now won at least 30 singles matches in each of his seasons at Ohio State. In 2011-12, Rola was 37-7 overall and last year he posted a 41-7 record.
In his match vs. Cunha, Rola went up a break in the second game of the first set to take a 2-0 lead, but Cunha broke back in the next game to put the match on serve, 2-1. Not long after, rain forced play indoors and the match resumed about a half-an-hour later. Dropping a first set for the first time of the singles championship, Rola rallied for back-to-back set wins and a place in the semifinals.
2013 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Singles Championship
May 25, 2013
Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center
First Round - Blaz Rola def. Ben McLachlan (California), 6-2, 7-6(4)
Second Round - Blaz Rola def. Malte Stropp (Mississippi State), 6-1, 6-4
Round of 16 - Blaz Rola def. Tsvetan Mihov (South Carolina), 6-3, 6-2
Quarterfinals - Blaz Rola def. Henrique Cunha (Duke), 4-6, 6-4, 6-1