AUBURN, Ala. - For the second year in a row, the Ole Miss men's tennis team will be represented in the USTA/ITA National Indoor, as Jonas Lutjen and Johan Backstrom won the USTA/ITA Southern Regional Doubles Championship to earn a trip to New York next month.
The duo defeated LSU's Olivier Borsos and Chris Simpson 8-5 in the final. The Rebel pair started hot leading 5-0. Then things started to go LSU's way as they pulled to within 5-3 and had chances to get back on serve. Lutjen was able to hold for a 6-3 lead. LSU would have a couple more chances to get back in it, but the Rebels stayed steady for the 8-5 win.
"Everything went our way for the first five games and then it went their (LSU) way for about four games," head coach Billy Chadwick. The key was Jonas holding serve in the ninth game for us to go up 6-3. We felt like before the match, that our advantage was our serve and that was the difference. This tournament really showed how much Jonas and Johan have improved. We are excited to be going back to New York."
Unfortunately, Lutjen couldn't keep the momentum going in singles, as he lost a tough three hour match to Auburn's Andreas Mies, who is ranked No. 70 in the country. Lutjen, ranked No. 72 in the nation, dropped a close first set 6-4 and then won the second set 6-4. In the third set, Mies got off to a good start and held up to clinch 6-1.
"It was a long match. Jonas had two games in the third set where he was up 40-15 that he didn't win and another game with AD that he lost. It could have turned it if he had won those," Chadwick said. "The guy (Mies) did a good job of playing his best tennis on the big points. We are very happy with the results of this tournament. Jonas has really stepped up his game, and we're excited about that."
The USTA/ITA National Indoor will take place Nov. 3-6 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y.
USTA/ITA Southern Regional Championships - AUBURN, Ala. Singles Final -- Andreas Mies (AU) def. Jonas Lutjen (OM) 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.
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