No Time for Complacency
Aug 30, 2013
After four years of engaging in nearly the same routine day in and day out, it is easy to become complacent. The everyday responsibilities of class, studying and practice are completed, and completed successfully, with hardly a second thought. While some would argue complacency may seem inevitable after spending that time absorbed in the same routine, that brief moment of self-satisfaction is hardly an option under men's tennis head coach Ty Tucker.
It is no secret the nine-time Big Ten Coach of the Year and 2009 Wilson/ITA National Coach of the Year expects the best out of those who choose to study and compete at Ohio State. Making it clear what those aspirations are - earning a college degree, winning Big Ten titles and ultimately a national championship - Tucker has groomed many who arrive on campus for life on the professional circuit.
In all, five Buckeyes currently are playing on the professional tour - Chase Buchanan (2009-12), Dino Marcan (2010), Devin McCarthy (2010-13), Steven Moneke (2006-09) and Blaz Rola (2011-present). Competing in a seemingly endless amount of matches, the days are long and the matches are tough, but it should hardly come as a surprise to these athletes who were once or are pupils of one of the most successful collegiate men's tennis coaches in the nation.
McCarthy, who is the latest Buckeye to join the professional circuit this past spring after helping the Buckeyes make a semifinal run at the NCAA championships, already has competed in eight singles and six doubles main draw tournaments, with his most successful outing happening just a week ago in Manizales, Colombia. McCarthy, who hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, advanced to the futures tournament singles final where he was matched-up against a familiar face - Buchanan. McCarthy, who finished his career at Ohio State with 104 combined singles and doubles wins, dropped a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 decision to Buchanan.
Equaling his performance in the singles bracket, McCarthy advanced to the Manizales event doubles final with Buchanan alongside as his partner. The "Buckeye duo" came up short against Kevin King and Juan-Carlos Spir, 6-3, 7-5.
With his win over McCarthy in the futures singles final in Colombia, Buchanan added an 11th professional title to his résumé that also includes seven doubles titles. The New Albany, Ohio, native who owns the Ohio State single-season doubles wins record with 44 victories in 2012, the same year he captured the NCAA Doubles title with Rola, won the Sherbrooke, Canada Futures Doubles title with Austin Krajicek this past March. With a doubles ranking of 306, Buchanan has been polled as high as 278. In fact, Buchanan has steadily climbed the doubles standings each year having ended the 2010 year ranked 840. Likewise, other than a dip at the end of 2011, Buchanan, a five-time All-American at Ohio State, has gradually risen in the singles polls, ranking 779 at the end of 2010 to a career-best 333 standing.
Producing a stunning collegiate career thus far, Rola who has one more season of eligibility at Ohio State, already has 13 futures titles to his credit. After pairing with Buchanan during the Buckeyes 2011-12 season and becoming the first tandem in NCAA history to win all three major collegiate tournaments - D'Novo/ITA All-American Doubles championship, USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Doubles championship and NCAA Doubles championship, the duo recreated their success in June of 2012 as they won the doubles title in Innisbrook, Fla. It should be noted, Rola and Buchanan did not drop a single set in the tournament.
As the 2013 NCAA singles champion, Rola has experienced success in the futures singles tournaments as well. In the same Innisbrook, Fla., event in which he won the doubles title, Rola, a native of Slovenia, captured the singles championship as well. In June, Rola won his seventh futures singles title in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Most recently, it appears tennis fans have been able to witness a glimpse of Rola's ever-increasing talents as he advanced to the singles final of the Rio De Janeiro Challenger in early August before dropping a 6-3, 6-4 decision to Agustin Velotti of Argentina. Prior to his phenomenal effort in Brazil, Rola, who is a four-time All-American and currently sits in 10th place all-time at Ohio State in career singles wins with 110 and eighth place in career doubles victories with 105, also advanced to the Tampere, Finland Challenger singles final and the Portoroz, Slovenia, Challenger doubles final in July.
In his lone season as a Buckeye in 2010, Marcan made Ohio State history becoming the first and only freshman to earn All-America honors. It did not take long for Marcan to triumphantly earn his first futures title after deciding not to return to Ohio State. The native of Croatia won four consecutive matches in the doubles bracket of the Iasi, Romania, Futures tournament in July of 2010 to add to his three doubles championships won the year before in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina.
In all, Marcan has captured 25 singles and doubles titles, including a singles championship in the Haskovo, Bulgaria Futures event in early July. Marcan also has two challenger titles to his credit, most recently a doubles championship in the An-Ning Challenger in China during the spring. Like many of his Buckeye counterparts, Marcan too has made a gradual increase up the professional rankings as he concluded the 2010 year ranked 727, but moved to No. 289 by September of 2012. Likewise, Marcan was ranked 318 at the end of 2010, but has reached as high as No. 155 by the middle of the 2012 season.
A veteran in terms of maintaining a professional career that began in 2009, Moneke has won 20 professional singles and doubles championships. After concluding his Ohio State career in history-making fashion - OSU record holder for career singles wins (146), OSU record holder in single-season wins (2009-45) and NCAA Singles Championships runner-up - Moneke continued his promising tennis career with his first futures title in Kenn/Trier, Germany, in 2010.
Since then, the Buckeye four-time All-American has been a consistent presence on the professional circuit, with his most successful doubles campaign occurring in 2011 when he won eight doubles titles. Most recently, Moneke a native of Giessen, Germany, won the 32-singles futures main draws in Antalya - Belconti, Turkey, Karlsruhe, Germany and Friedberg, Germany. Additionally, Moneke and his doubles partner Laslo Urrutia Fuentes captured the Karlsruhe, Germany, Futures title two weeks ago.
It should come as no surprise this group of Buckeyes - McCarthy, Buchanan, Rola, Marcan and Moneke - quietly and methodically make their way around the globe, grinding away day after day and week after week because honestly it is the only way they know.