Rebels open home slate with win over Troy
Temperatures hovered in the high 20s to low 30s for much of the day Tuesday, but inside at the Gillom Sports Center, the No. 19-ranked Ole Miss men’s tennis team was on fire from the start and never let up, downing Troy 6-1 to begin the season 1-0.
The Rebels took the doubles point with a shutout on court two and a tiebreaker on three. Freshman Fabian Fallert and sophomore Grey Hamilton fed off each others energy and dominated 6-0 at No. 2. Both the matches on courts one and three went to tiebreakers, but senior Stefan Lindmark and junior Ricardo Jorge were able to come away with a 7-6(3) win at No. 3 to clinch the point.
In singles, the Rebels took all three first sets in a commanding fashion. The Trojans battled back at the beginning of the second sets, before Filip Kraljevic, Stefan Lindmark and Gustav Hansson finished them off in straight sets for the win. Two more wins in the lower half of the lineup from Ricardo Jorge and Fabian Fallert provided the final 6-1 score.
For the first time in four years, a new player roamed court on Tuesday. After four-time All-American Nik Scholtz graduated, it was time for Lindmark to take his turn in the spotlight, and he delivered. After teaming with Jorge to secure the opening point, Lindmark defeated Troy’s Daniel Bustamante 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 singles to make it 3-0 Rebels.
Playing in his first dual match as a Rebel, Kraljevic, a freshman, showed fans why he will be fun to watch over the next four years. Kraljevic downed Troy’s Andy Lau 6-1, 6-3 at No. 3 singles to make it 2-0 Rebels.
Hansson sat out the doubles, and then took care of business in singles, topping Giovani Samaha 6-1, 7-5 at No. 2 singles to clinch the Rebel victory. Samaha reached the ITA Southern Regional semifinals in the fall.
After a dominating display in doubles, Fallert was equally energized in his singles match, winning at No. 5 singles 7-6(0), 6-2 against Troy’s Filip Mansson.
“Great way to start the season,” Ole Miss coach Toby Hansson said. “We were challenged in the doubles, but we responded after being up 5-2 at No. 1 and not getting it. Stefan and Ricardo did a good job of closing out the point.”