OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss men’s tennis sophomore Nik Scholtz experienced a huge thrill on Friday, making his Davis Cup debut against the world’s No. 15 ranked player, Milos Raonic (Canada) in Montreal, Canada.
Scholtz, the 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year, hung tough throughout the match, but Raonic broke three times for a 7-5, 6-4, 7-5 victory to give his country a 2-0 lead in the best of five World Group Playoff.
Scholtz could not quite touch Raonic’s serve, and had nine double faults in the tightly contested encounter. Raonic converted on 3-of-5 break point opportunities, which was all he needed, with his high serve percentage, including 26 aces. After the match Raonic was complimentary of Scholtz saying, “He played well, but I made it tough for him to get anything on my serve.”
“My main goal was to try and hold serve as much as I could, and I thought I did pretty well except for those 5-all games in the first and third sets where I just had too many double faults and gave him too many freebies,” said Scholtz. “But he’s a great player so I’m pretty pleased with the way I played. I would have just liked to have hit my second serve a little better, actually.”
In the mostly Canadian crowd, there was at least one Scholtz fan in attendance outside of his teammates. Rebel head coach Billy Chadwick made the trip to watch his star player in action on the big stage.
“He played well, and competed hard,” Chadwick said. “He handled himself well. If he would have served better, then perhaps it would have been a couple tiebreakers. We are very proud of him. He has represented his country and Ole Miss well. I look forward to watching him play again on Sunday.”
Play continues Saturday with doubles. Scholtz returns for Sunday’s final day of play where he will face Vasek Pospisil, who is ranked No. 116 in the world.
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