OXFORD, Miss. – While his teammates continue to prepare for the season opening tournament next weekend, Ole Miss men’s tennis junior Nik Scholtz is across the ocean with another set of teammates, as his country, South Africa, prepares to face Slovenia in Davis Cup action.
South Africa, looking to remain in Group I, will face Slovenia at Park Tivoli in Ljubljana, Slovenia. If they lose this weekend, South Africa would face a match against Russia in October where a win would be necessary to avoid dropping down to Group II.
This marks the second time for Scholtz, a two-time All-American in singles and doubles, to represent his country in Davis Cup.
“It’s always exciting, whether it’s the first or second time,” said Scholtz, the day before he left to join his teammates in Slovenia. “It’s going to be on clay this time, which makes it a little tougher for our guys, but it will be fun. I am looking forward to seeing all the guys again. I am very grateful to the University of Mississippi for allowing me the opportunity to go and play for my country.”
Scholtz made his Davis Cup debut in September of last year when South Africa matched up against Canada. While he had faced high-level competition playing in the SEC, nothing could compare to his first opponent, Milos Raonic, ranked 15th in the world at the time.
“It was awesome,” Scholtz said. “Raonic is the best player I’ve ever played. It was a good experience. I learned a lot from it. It doesn’t matter who you play, they’re going to be a good player. He is obviously a couple levels higher than what we are used to. It was fun to be able to play with those guys [like Raonic], but obviously experience-wise, they’re a little better, especially on the big points for example, when it’s 5-5, 30-30.”
His first time in the Davis Cup, Scholtz played on the hard courts, but as he noted, this weekend’s matches are being contested on clay. Scholtz admitted it’s not his favorite surface, but he does have some pretty good results on clay from juniors.
“In juniors I played the top tournaments on really nice clay courts at really nice clubs,” he said. “They are a lot better then what you might see at the Futures level. We have a few clay courts [in South Africa], but we don’t host any tournaments on them. With six days to prepare before the matches begin, we will definitely be ready and better adapted to the surface.”
Scholtz finished up the 2013 collegiate season advancing to the NCAA Semifinals in doubles and earning All-America honors in singles and doubles. Following that, he played in several ITF Futures in Turkey with fellow countryman and Rebel alum, Tucker Vorster, and they won twice. Scholtz talked about where his game is at heading into this weekend and beyond.
“I took a long time off after Turkey to rest my arm. So far I haven’t had any problems with my arm, so it was probably a good thing. The first few days back were a little rusty, but I know when it comes time to play, I’ll be ready,” Scholtz said.
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 15-21, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss went 4-0 to capture the Rebel Classic and improve to 14-0 on the season.- Through four weeks of the season, the Rebels have equaled last year's win total (14-17).- Sophomore... read more
This is the fourth installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
The Ole Miss Volleyball team remained undefeated at 14-0 and matched last year's win total with a 4-0 weekend at the Rebel Classic capped by wins over Lamar (3-0) and Jackson State (3-1) Saturday. The last three sets against Jackson... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 4 - ULL (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 2 and The Season: Ole Miss... read more
Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' open date and return to action on Saturday, Sept. 27 against Memphis.Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:50:18 mark. For the... read more
NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., visited Ole Miss on Wednesday. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native spoke to various student groups, including the football team. Stenhouse Jr. presented head coach Hugh Freeze with a firesuit, and Freeze presented him with an... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more
After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday. Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more
This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more
Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman. That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more
Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more
With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more