Blaz Rola: Via College Tennis Into The Top 100

Blaz Rola (photo: Matic Klansek Velej / Sportida)

STARNBERG, April 13, 2020

Almost every tennis player dreams of cracking the Top 100 in the world, competing in one of the prestigious Grand Slam tournaments, and turning their passion into their profession. Blaz Rola is part of a group of tennis pros on the ATP Tour, who propelled their career by playing college tennis in the United States and eventually fulfilled his goal.

The 29-year-old was born in Ptuj, the oldest recorded city in Slovenia, to father Marijan Rola and mother Majda Rola. He was four years old when he started playing tennis. When he was six he joined the Tennis Club Terme Ptuj, where he spent the most of his youth. In 2010, Rola moved to the United States, where he studied at and competed in tennis for Ohio State University until 2013.

“It was a very good decision to go to college. I don’t know what would have happened to my tennis career, if I didn’t go to the United States. It was a life experience that I wouldn’t want to miss. I would make the same decision at any time,” Rola told the Slovenian Tennis Federation in an interview.

In May 2013, the four-time All-American on the Ohio State University men’s tennis team, won the 2013 NCAA Singles Championship with a 7-6(8), 6-4 win over Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex/Atkins Tennis Center in Urbana, Ill.

“It’s unbelievable. The past champions who have won this tournament, John McEnroe, the Bryan brothers, for my name to be up there, it’s just overwhelming. It’s unbelievable and I’m really happy,” Rola was quoted after his victory. The same year he was named Ohio State Male Athlete of the Year.

Rola has not yet finished his studies in international business administration but still intends to graduate in the future. In the meantime, the lefty continued his successful path as a tennis professional.

Rola has captured four singles trophies on the ATP Challenger Tour. His latest title win came last year in Leon, Mexico, which helped him to climb up the rankings again. It has also been Rola’s first title as a father. “This trophy goes to my daughter Izabela,” a happy Rola posted on Instagram.

Rola reached a career-high World No. 78 in January 2015 and is currently sitting at World No. 141. There is obviously one main goal: to return to the Top 100.