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June 23, 2014

Blaz Rola


B. ROLA/P. Andujar
6‑3, 6‑1, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ What did you feel you did well today in your game?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ I think I was hitting my forehand pretty well and taking the chances that I got, especially on the short balls.
Although I missed a couple very, very easy shots, my forehand basically in big moments was especially working well.テつ Did that.テつ And especially when I was up in the second set, up a break, I gave away a very easy service game.テつ To keep my composure there, to play basically like nothing happened, that was one of the key moments.テつ So I really stepped up the level in the second set.
I saved a couple of big breakpoints in the third set.テつ Yeah, very, very happy that I got through in straight sets.

Q.テつ You're aware in the next round is a rather large figure potentially awaiting you.
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Yeah.テつ That large figure got a pretty big impact on today's match.テつ When I saw the draw, when I saw that potentially I can play the second round against Andy, my motivation was off the charts.
Yeah, it helped me a lot in this first game.テつ Yeah, I'm very, very happy that I actually get a chance to play him, especially here.

Q.テつ You'll be on one of the show courts obviously.テつ This is only your second Grand Slam.
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Exactly.テつ I never really played on any big events.テつ I think the biggest was two, three weeks ago in Queen's against James.テつ So, yeah, I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Q.テつ Are you someone who thrives on being the underdog?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Yeah, I think so.テつ I started playing professionally basically last year in the middle of the season.テつ I'm playing right now a year basically being an underdog almost all the time.
Yeah, I think I drive [sic] on that.テつ I think a lot of the opponents don't expect what's coming.テつ That's going to be my advantage ‑ not for very long.テつ So, yeah, I think that's a good thing.

Q.テつ Andy is the leading British player.テつ Underneath him we don't seem to have many guys even of the caliber of yourself to make it through to the second round.テつ As someone that plays on the circuit, is that something that is noticeable, the lack of depth in British tennis?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ I can't really answer that question right because, I mean, I'm a newcomer.テつ Being on tour only for half a year, I don't see that depth between Andy and the second British guy.
But, I mean, I know from our country, we don't have anyone that's ranked as high as Andy.テつ That basically drives everything in England, I guess.テつ Yeah, I wish we would have someone like this to drive our country and our Federation and everything that we have forward.

Q.テつ In the past did you work with Ty Tucker?

Q.テつ Could you talk about him as a coach?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Yeah, I think I'm safe to say that he was one of the biggest influence on me in my tennis career.
I decided, it was three years ago, to take a step and go to college.テつ Yeah, he was the one that took me under the wing.テつ Practicing with him for three years has been incredible.
The steps that I went through to improve with him went so quickly.テつ Yeah, I mean, if anyone knows him, they know that he's a very intense guy.テつ He loves to work hard.
I gave him that.テつ Our relationship on the court and off the court has been unbelievable.テつ We're still good friends.テつ We still keep in touch.テつ Yeah, hopefully he has time to come and see me play.

Q.テつ In my country there's the big coaching position open at Stanford.テつ Do you think he would do a good job there?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ In any coaching situation in college he would do an unbelievable job.テつ I know he's a big Buckeye fan, a Buckeye in his heart.テつ I don't know if he's going to take that job.

Q.テつ You mentioned you don't have anyone of Andy's caliber in your country.テつ You have Aljaz Bedene.テつ He's obviously looking to change over to Britain.テつ How would that affect you?テつ What do you think about that?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ It wouldn't affect me at all.テつ I know Aljaz since we were kids.テつ We been friends since then.テつ We're going to be friends even though he changed nationality.
I know he's doing this for his own good.テつ We had a lot of good players right now in Slovenia.テつ Basically it's the biggest year, couple biggest years in tennis in Slovenia.テつ I don't think that's going to change.
But, yeah, it's a sad thing that he's leaving us.テつ We'll still be friends.テつ Doesn't matter what happens.

Q.テつ Presumably you always wanted to make it as a pro.テつ Why did you go to university in the States?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Well, I never practiced on hard courts.テつ I never knew how to play on hard courts.テつ Basically when I finished high school, I had a couple months to play on professional level, on futures.テつ I never got one point on hard courts.テつ So I saw there was a big problem.
I thought college was a good thing.テつ I took a recruiting trip.テつ From the first day I loved it.テつ Yeah, said, Might as well try it.テつ I loved it from the first day till the last day, and I would do it all over again if someone would ask me.

Q.テつ What chance do you think you have of beating Andy Murray?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ That's a tough question.テつ I have no idea.テつ I think not a lot.テつ We know that he's probably the greatest sportsman here in the country.テつ He's defending the title.テつ He's been in the top four, the big four, in the past couple years.テつ His record speaks for himself.
Just go out there, have fun, play as best as I can, and we'll see what happens.

Q.テつ If you beat him, how big a shock would it be?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ It would be a very, very big shock.テつ Very, very big shock.

Q.テつ How much experience have you had on grass courts?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Not a lot.テつ This is basically my third tournament.テつ I only played four, five years ago juniors here.テつ I never played on grass.
I mean, I came here, played Queen's, Eastbourne, a couple of preparation tournaments coming to here.テつ I think I did a pretty good job getting used to it since it's my first season on grass.
I had a couple problems with my knee.テつ But, yeah, hopefully that will be good and I can play 110% in two days.

Q.テつ A couple of British opponents as well?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Exactly.テつ I played James again.テつ I think the quickest rematch I had.テつ Right after French Open we played again in Queen's.テつ I played Daniel in Eastbourne.テつ Yeah, I guess here it is again Andy.

Q.テつ In your career what's the match where you felt the most tension, individual match, playing Michigan?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Tough question.テつ Pretty big moment was NCAA because one of our goals coming to college was winning NCAA first as a team and then as an individual.テつ Being in the final, having that chance, didn't want to mess it up.テつ Didn't want to mess up three years of work.テつ Blew that chance away.テつテつ That might be one of the biggest matches.
Yeah, then I would say probably first round of the Australian Open this year.

Q.テつ Was your NCAA play in Athens?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ No, it was actually in Illinois, Champaign, Illinois.

Q.テつ What do you think could prepare you for Centre Court?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Nothing.テつ Nothing prepare me for this.テつ I don't know.
Maybe just go up in the stands for a couple minutes, look it up to see how it is.テつ I don't think I ever played in a bigger stadium.

Q.テつ What are your emotions at this moment?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ Right now I'm very, very happy that I got through the first round.テつ I don't think I actually realize where I'm going to play since I'm going to walk up that stand and see how many people are actually watching this because I actually really never stepped on the Centre Court here.

Q.テつ Will you embrace that at all?
BLAZ ROLA:テつ I think so.テつ Hopefully I don't poop my pants and don't play well.

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