TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - For the fourth straight year, the Ole Miss men's tennis team will play for a title at the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships, as Nik Scholtz advanced to the singles final Sunday, while William Kallberg and Stefan Lindmark reached the doubles final at the Alabama Tennis Stadium.
Kallberg and Lindmark, seeded No. 4, will face LSU's Chris Simpson and Boris Arias, seeded No. 3, in the final Monday at 11 a.m. The Stockholm, Sweden natives are looking to become the third Rebel duo in four years to win the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Doubles title.
To get to the final, Kallberg and Lindmark had to win another tiebreaker, as they topped Auburn's Dennis Lengsfeld and Lukas Ollert 8-7(5) to reach their first final together. The duo improved to 5-1 on the year.
Soon after their semifinal win, both Scholtz and Kallberg took the court for their semifinal singles matches. Scholtz was first off the court, downing UAB's Chris Helliar 6-3, 6-2. After struggling a little in his opening matches, dropping a set in each, Scholtz has won his last three in straight sets as he seeks to repeat as champion.
Scholtz will face Mississippi State's Malte Stropp in the final Monday, also at 11 a.m. Stropp, ranked No. 40 in the nation, defeated 65th-ranked Kallberg in two close sets to advance. Both players played well; Kallberg had some chances, but Stropp held on to win 6-4, 6-4.
Monday's final, will mark the first ever meeting between Scholtz and Stropp. Scholtz doesn't have to look far for tips on playing Stropp, as his doubles partner the last two years, Jonas Lutjen, had many three-set battles with Stropp during his four-year career.
Head coach Billy Chadwick is looking forward to watching the Rebels battle it out for the titles Monday and hoping for a repeat of 2010, when Ole Miss captured both. He knows both opponents will present a tough challenge.
"We are excited to have a singles and doubles finalist," Chadwick said. "William and Stefan are playing well right now and getting better with every match. Hopefully they can do it one more time tomorrow against a very good team from LSU.
"In singles Nik played great, and we are looking forward to a good match against Stropp in the final. Stropp played really well today. Willie had a couple of openings, but Stropp just returned the ball well. Willie wasn't getting any free points at all. There were a couple of games that Willie could have won that might have made a difference."
The winner of the singles and doubles matches will advance to the USTA/ITA National Indoor in November to be held at the US Open site in Flushing, N.Y.
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