ATHENS, Ga. – For the second time in his career, Ole Miss men’s tennis junior Nik Scholtz is in the round of 16 of the NCAA Singles Championship, defeating Auburn’s Lukas Ollert 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 here Thursday at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex to advance.
Scholtz reached the quarterfinals in 2012 as a freshman. He is one of only three seeds remaining in the field of 64.
“I am still not playing as well as I can, but I am happy to get the win in the windy conditions, and especially against a tough opponent,” Scholtz said. “He fights hard and never gives up.”
Scholtz, ranked No. 12 nationally and seeded 9-16, improves to 27-6 on the year and has lost just one match since mid-January. His win also extends the coaching career of Chadwick, who was inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame Wednesday night.
At 3-2 in the first set, Scholtz broke Ollert and held serve the rest of the way to win it 6-3. In their first meeting, Scholtz pounced on Ollert after winning a tight first set tiebreaker, but this time Ollert answered, breaking Scholtz right away. That was all he needed to claim the second set 6-3.
Scholtz held serve to start the final set and then wasted little time taking the upper hand. He broke Ollert on his first serve opportunity and then was all he needed to close out Ollert 6-3 for the win. It marked the second straight day for Scholtz to go three sets, but he held up just fine in the warmer temperatures.
“I try not to think too much about how many sets I’ve played,” Scholtz said. “I am feeling good and ready to do whatever it takes.”
“The first set was tight, but Nik was able to get one break and that was all he needed,” Chadwick said. “In the second set he got broken early and that set the tone. He didn’t play that bad, he just had one bad service game. Third set, Nik was able to break him early and keep the momentum.”
Scholtz will face UCLA’s Mackenzie McDonald, ranked No. 35 in the nation, in the third round Friday at 10:30 a.m. CT. McDonald, a freshman, was ranked as high as No.12 in the ITF Junior World Rankings and played in all four junior grand slams.
“I don’t know that much about him, but I know he is a good player,” Scholtz said. “It’s going to be a great match, and I am looking forward to it.”
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