PRETORIA, South Africa - His dad is a celebrity in South Africa after a decorated career in Rugby, but on Saturday in his native country, Ole Miss men's tennis junior Nik Scholtz became the talk of the country, when he won a huge five-setter against world No. 276 Benjamin Balleret in the Davis Cup tie against Monaco at the Irene Country Club. His first Davis Cup victory was a thriller, 7-5, 7-6(3), 3-6, 3-6, 6-3.
The match began on Friday afternoon after rain delayed the start of the day's festivities. With his country already down 0-1 after dropping the first match, Scholtz took to the courts and promptly won the first set 7-5 to rousing applause from the home crowd. Early into the second set down a break, play was suspended due to darkness.
Scholtz and Balleret resumed their match Saturday morning, and the two-time collegiate All-American broke back and ended up winning the second set 7-6(3). With over 10 years of Davis Cup experience, Balleret served well in the third set to extend the match and then won the fourth by the same score of 6-3. At 3-2 in the final set, Scholtz broke to go up 4-2 and held the rest of the way for 6-3 and arguably the biggest win in his tennis career.
Following a victory high-five with captain, John-Laffnie De Jager, Scholtz raced across the courts to embrace his family and shared an emotional moment with his father, Calla.
"That was an emotional win," said Scholtz after the victory. "My parents have been such a big part of my success, and I give credit to them for the love and support they unconditionally give me at all times."
Even his opponent, while understandably disappointed, had good things to say about Scholtz and his future in the game.
"Nik has a great future, he is a talented player with a big serve which is a major weapon. I think if Nik can work on his baseline game and move more to the net after his big serve he could be a better player."
Following Scholtz' match, South Africa's doubles pair of Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse gave the homestanding team a 2-1 lead with a five-set win in the doubles.
Scholtz will face Romain Arnedo, who is ranked No. 528, Sunday in the final match of the tie.
Extra Emphasis on Special Teams Play Through the years, special teams play has provided a winning edge in the Ole Miss-LSU rivalry, and and you don't have to go all the way back to Billy Cannon's 1959 Halloween run. In... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and LSU head coach Les Miles on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Baton Rouge.For the full SEC teleconference, go here.Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at 1:06:12... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more
It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more
The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more
Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more
At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more
With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more