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.
THE SEASON: Ole Miss Basketball (2014) - Episode 7 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, here are each of the first six episodes of The Season: Ole Miss Basketball:Episode 1 (Season overview, Auburn, Mississippi State games)Episode... read more
In less than a full indoor season with the Ole Miss track & field team, Australian distance runner Daniel Bulmer has had a significant impact on the school record books and set the stage for a lot more to come... read more
What a Win tonight... Very Proud of our team #ProudCoach #Passion #Process #1MISSion-- Matt Insell (@minsell) March 6, 2014 What a great win for our program tonight! This team has come so far! Watch us take on Auburn tomorrow night... read more
Proceeding from 1995 to 1996, we will highlight moment No. 23 in head coach Billy Chadwick's career. This particular moment will accentuate a tremendous individual accomplishment. In 1996, Sweden's Johan Hede became the first Rebel in Ole Miss tennis history... read more
The Ole Miss women's basketball team looks to carry the momentum from a 73-71 overtime win over Auburn on Senior Day this past Sunday into this week's Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The Rebels are... read more
Ole Miss and Arkansas are both looking to improve their Southeastern Conference standing and possibly play their way into a top-four seed and a double bye to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament next week in Atlanta. The Rebels are... read more
Senior Bo Wallace returns at quarterback and will go through spring drills for the first time since 2012, having missed spring practice last year recovering from offseason shoulder surgery."I feel like strength-wise, I'm a lot better than I was at... read more
Audio of Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell's time on the SEC teleconference Monday as well as audio of Arkansas head coach Tom Collen and Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. Ole Miss is the No. 14 seed in this week's... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 24-March 2, 2014Baseball- Ole Miss posted four straight walk-off wins this past week on the way to two wins over ULM and a sweep of UCF.- Junior right-handed pitcher Chris Ellis has not allowed... read more
To begin this week, we are ending 1995 for moment No. 24. This moment is another first for the Ole Miss tennis program and is the product of a true collective effort by Coach Chadwick and the Rebels.By now, you... read more
Photo GalleryA total of 25 scouts representing 22 NFL teams were on hand at Ole Miss' annual Pro Day Monday, including former Rebel Von Hutchins, now with the Oakland Raiders organization. Donte Moncrief, who participated in the 2014 NFL Combine,... read more
Highlights of Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy's time on the SEC teleconference Monday, as well as selected questions and answers from Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings. The Rebels close out the regular season... read more
The calendar turned to March, but the walk-off wins continued for Ole Miss, as Will Allen hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. He hit it to the deepest part of Swayze Field, but it... read more