By Britni Riley Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations
Calm. Cool. Clutch. Those are three words that easily come to mind when describing Ole Miss men's tennis freshman Stefan Lindmark, nicknamed "Slick."
The Swedish lefty is fast making his mark for the Rebels, which currently rank No. 9 in the nation and sit atop the Southeastern Conference standings at 4-0 after a huge weekend.
Lindmark has had a hand in all four of the Rebels' conference wins. In fact, he saved the Rebels from defeat in their first SEC match of the season on the road at Alabama. The Stockholm native saved five match points at No. 4 singles to win a third set tiebreaker 12-10 and secure a 4-3 win for the Rebels. This was after he teamed with Johan Backstrom to clinch the doubles point. At Auburn, Lindmark helped clinch the doubles point and won at No. 4 singles in straight sets to put the Rebels up 3-0, which ultimately led to his teammate's clinching win at No. 6 after Auburn tied it at 3.
"I actually like playing under pressure," Lindmark said. "It's a lot of fun; even having the crowd against me motivates me."
For his outstanding performance during the opening weekend of conference play, Lindmark was named the SEC Freshman of the Week last week, his first such honor.
"It feels good and it boosts my confidence, but obviously I just hope as a team we can keep getting better," he said.
The Rebels are in the midst of a five match homestand, dubbed the "Spring Break Slam," which started off with a bang this past weekend. The Rebels rallied to knock off No. 7 Georgia 4-3 before coming back to beat No. 10 Tennessee 4-2.
After starting out the year at No. 5 singles and No. 3 doubles, Lindmark moved to No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles with Backstrom against Georgia and Tennessee. He finished the weekend 3-1, including clinching the doubles point against the Bulldogs, which proved to be the difference in the match. Sunday, he won both his doubles and singles. His singles win put the Rebels on the board.
Lindmark, 8-2 in dual matches and 3-1 in the SEC, feels that the Rebels can keep the momentum going when they host Baylor, Kentucky and Vanderbilt later this week.
"I am very confident," he said. "I have been playing well lately, and if everyone just does what they are supposed to do, we can win all our matches."
Before Lindmark started playing for the Rebels last fall, he was ranked the top junior player in Sweden and ranked as high as No. 40 in the ITF Junior World Rankings. He played at Wimbledon, the French Open and the Australian Open.
The Rebels have a rich tradition, which includes a long list of talented players from Sweden. Lindmark came to Ole Miss because of those connections and that history.
"I was looking at a few schools like UCLA and Pepperdine," said Lindmark. "But I felt like I would be more comfortable with the other guys and Coach Toby (Hansson), who are from Sweden. We have a great team, we all get along, so I am glad I chose to come here."
When they signed him, both head coach Billy Chadwick and Hansson talked of Lindmark being the type of player to make an impact in the SEC.
"Stefan has been a key factor in the team's success contributing in both singles and doubles," said Hansson, who was instrumental in his recruitment. "First of all, he is a very good player with a solid foundation, and a wealth of experience for just a freshman. Secondly, he just seems to thrive in the team competition, especially when it gets down to the wire; that's when he enjoys the game the most."
Playing in the SEC each week, Lindmark is sure to get plenty more opportunities to showcase his late match heroics to the delight of Rebel fans.
The goal from day one for head coach Steven McRoberts was to lead Ole Miss to its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2010. Entering the team's final two matches, McRoberts said he felt as though they were... read more
Battling injury, junior quarterback Dak Prescott came off the bench and helped rally Mississippi State to a come-from-behind 17-10 win in last year's Egg Bowl. He led a drive that ended with the game-tying field goal at 10-10 and then... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze called the Egg Bowl the most prized possession of this university's football program, and getting the Egg Bowl back should be enough motivation for his team entering Saturday's game against Mississippi State. An Independence, Mississippi, native,... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 17-23, 2014Men's Basketball- Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with wins over Southern University and Northern Arizona as part of the Emerald Coast Classic, improving to 3-1 on the season.- Ole Miss... read more
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson, one of five finalists for the Bronco Nagurski Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year, will represent Ole Miss as one of 10 finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, which honors the... read more
It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:- A slow start (17-0... read more
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more
It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more
No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited. But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more