TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Freshman Stefan Lindmark got his first taste of a Southeastern Conference road match, and he delivered in a big way, winning a third set tiebreaker (12-10) against Alabama's Philippe Tsangarides to clinch a huge 4-3 win for the Rebels here Friday.
The match had to be played indoors due to cold temperatures. With the win, the Rebels improved to 7-2 overall and are 1-0 in SEC play. They will face No. 32 Auburn Sunday at 1 p.m. The Tigers lost a tough 4-3 match to Mississippi State.
At 5-5 in the third, Lindmark was broken, but he broke back to force the tiebreaker. He led it 3-1 then trailed it 5-3 before evening it up at 5. Lindmark then held a match point at 6-5. From there it went back and forth until at 10-10 he won the final two points to clinch it 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(10).
“This was a great college tennis match, that we were fortunate to get,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We played well in doubles, and Alabama really played well in singles, especially at two, three and six. Nik played well for us at one as did Backy at five.
It came down to Stefan. They had five match points on us and Stefan just battled. It was a big moment for us to have a freshman step up and clinch with all the pressure on him. The crowd was loud and riding him hard letting him know he was a freshman. He showed great character and good he is in the clutch.”
The Rebels got on the board first by winning the doubles point, which ended up being the difference. After Alabama took the No. 2 match 8-3, Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen won 8-4 at No. 1, and then Johan Backstrom and Lindmark took the No. 3 match 8-4 to clinch it.
Scholtz, ranked No. 12 nationally, gave Ole Miss a 2-0 lead with his 6-3, 6-1 win over Daniil Proskura at No. 1 singles.
The Crimson Tide answered in singles as Jarryd Botha upset No. 5 ranked Jonas Lutjen 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2 singles.
Becker O'Shaugnessey squared the match at two when he beat 55th-ranked William Kallberg 7-5, 6-3 on court three.
The Rebels regained the lead as Backstrom downed the Tide’s Harrais Barnard 6-3, 6-4 on five.
Alabama evened it up again as Stuart Kenyon defeated Rebel senior Adrian Forberg Skogeng 6-2, 7-5 on court six, setting up Lindmark’s heroics at four.
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