ATLANTA – The No. 11 ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team started the 2014 season with five victories – four in singles – vs. Georgia Tech on the first day of the MLK Invitational at Georgia Tech’s Ken Byers Tennis Complex.
The three-day indoor event pits the Rebels against players from No. 3 Georgia and No. 21 Memphis as well as the Yellow Jackets. No team scores are being recorded, but singles and doubles champions will be crowned based on the round robin results.
ITA experimental scoring is in place for the event including no-ad scoring and doubles being played to 6 with a tiebreaker at 5 all. Singles also includes a tiebreaker at 5 all.
“Overall it was a pretty good first day,” said head coach Billy Chadwick of his team’s first action since the fall. It was good to get these matches in, but we are going to have to step it up tomorrow and Monday as the competition heats up.”
The top two doubles matches were very close, with Ole Miss claiming one and Georgia Tech the other. The Swedish lefty duo of William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark posted a 6-5(6) win over Nathan Rakitt and Casey Kay to improve to 7-4 on the year. Nik Scholtz and Johan Backstrom, teaming up for the first time at the top spot, had several match points, but ended up falling 11-9 in the breaker to Eduardo Segura/Carlos Benito. Vinod Gowda and Zach Wilder lost their match to Anish Sharma/Cole Fiegel 6-2.
Ole Miss won four of the six singles matches, all in straight sets. Scholtz, ranked No. 15 in the nation, led with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Rakitt. Lindmark downed Segura 6-2, 6-3, Backstrom defeated Kay 6-4, 6-4 and Wilder beat Sharma 6-5, 6-1.
The Rebels return to action Sunday facing SEC rival Georgia at 8 a.m. CT. Fans can follow live scoring by going to OleMissSports.com and clicking on the link in the calendar.
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