NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ole Miss men’s tennis junior William Kallberg is looking to take his game to another level after earning All-SEC second team honors last year. He’s off to a solid start this fall, reaching the quarterfinals of the SEC Fall Classic Friday with a straight set win over Tennessee’s Brandon Fickey.
Kallberg was supposed to play Vanderbilt’s Ryan Smith in the third round, but the Commodore withdrew, leaving Kallberg to wait around all morning to see who his fourth round opponent would be. It turned out to be Tennessee juior Brandon Fickey, who posted a rather easy victory in the third round against Auburn’s Joseph Van Dooren.
In the first ever meeting between the two, Kallberg struck first. At 4-3 Kallberg converted on the sixth break point chance to go up 5-3 and then served out the set 6-3. Serving well the entire match, Kallberg earned another break in the second to go up 5-3. After Fickey saved two match points, Kallberg converted the third for the 6-3, 6-3 win.
With the win, Kallberg (3-0) improved to 3-1 against players from Tennessee. He will face the seventh-seed, Harrison Adams (Texas A&M) in the quarterfinals.
“William played a good match,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We are excited for him to be among the final eight. This is the toughest league in the nation, and anytime you get this far in a tournament with this caliber of players, it’s a significant accomplishment. Tomorrow will be a great opportunity against another great player.”
Unfortunately, his teammates will not be joining Kallberg in the quarterfinals. Oxford native Zach Wilder faced his toughest opponent to date in his young career, Vanderbilt’s Gonzales Austin, seeded No. 6 and ranked No. 35 in the nation. Austin won 6-4, 6-1, and Wilder finished the tournament 2-1.
Fellow sophomore Stefan Lindmark matched up against Georgia senior Hernus Pieters, seeded 9-16 and ranked No. 72 in the country. A close match, ended in favor of Pieters, 7-6, 6-3. Lindmark also finished the weekend at 2-1.
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