Blaž Rola Wins ATP Challenger Split Open Title!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Veljko Martinović
Veljko Martinović

At the Central Court of TC Firule, the sixth-seed Rola reached the triumph with a 2:6, 6:3, 6:2 result in two hours and 16 minutes of play. Kavčič was flawless in the first set, but when he returned from the break between sets, Rola played much more decisively and aggressively. He immediately went to 3:0 and kept that advantage until the end of the set, only to enter the final set with a break.

Kavčič found it increasingly difficult to cope with his shots, so Rola once again took away his serve for the 5:2 lead, but that was not the end. The longest game of the match followed, in which Kavčič did not realize three break opportunities, while Rola realized the third match point. 


Veljko Martinović

This is Rola’s first victory over Kavčič in their fourth duel and certainly the most important. He reached his fifth Challenger title, but the first on European soil, after Guangzhou in 2014, Santos in 2015, Tallahassee in 2017, and Leon in 2019.

“My feelings are mixed because I played against a good friend with whom I train every day. It is a pity that there had to be only one winner,” said the 30-year-old from Ptuj to the gathered journalists after the match, holding the winning trophy firmly.

He looked back at the match:

“I don’t even know how I got it! These conditions are more suitable for the other Blaž; it was slow and cold. He played the first set without a mistake, and then I became a little more aggressive. Too bad for the corona because I’m sure the stands would be full today. Everyone from Slovenia who supports us would come, but all credit to the organizer. I know it wasn’t easy for him in these times.”

On the other hand, Kavčič from Ljubljana, who is four years older, delighted everyone with his fighting spirit and numerous upheavals. However, he failed to win this third set in the final. He ran out of fuel.

“I did the first set without a mistake, and then I lost my temper a bit. Maybe fatigue had accumulated, so I was making mistakes I don’t normally make. After the first set, Blaž started attacking more, and I wasn’t ready for that. I fell on the defensive, I tried to get as close as possible to the line, but I failed,” commented Kavčič.


Veljko Martinović

With 17 titles, he is among the ten best players in the Challengers of all time. However, he will have to wait a little longer for his next title. 

The coach of Rola and Kavčič, also Blaž, Trupej, proudly watched the match from the stands and later took photos with his players, who recently won the Zadar Challenger in doubles.

“We have been working together since last December, and this final is proof that we are doing well,” said Rola, and Kavčič continued:

“We know each other very well, and we are friends off the court. We almost spend more time with each other than with our wives, haha. We are training hard, and we hope that there will be more finals.”

The director of the tournament, Ismar Moralić, presented Rola with the winning trophy. He will also receive 6,190 euros and 80 points. Kavčič receives 3650 euros and 48 points. Rola should jump from 165th place to approximately 147th on the ATP list, while Kavčič should progress from 238th to around 215th place.

Unfortunately, Rola will not defend the title next week because he is going to the Belgrade Challenger. The performance of Kavčič, who should play in the first round against the second seed Marco Polmans, is also questionable.

“I need to talk to the coach. I’ve had injury problems recently, so I have to be careful; I don’t want to go with my head through the wall. It is possible that I will not perform,” Kavčič concluded.

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