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Rebels Rally to Top No. 13 Florida
Wednesday, 01/28/2015
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Ole Miss Team Page

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In an incredible college tennis match, the Ole Miss men’s tennis team delivered a finish for the ages, coming back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat No. 13 Florida 4-3 in the first round of the ITA Kick-Off here Saturday at the Alfred Ring Tennis Complex.

The Rebels will face South Carolina in the championship match Sunday at 10 a.m. CT., with a berth in the National Team Indoor Final 16 on the line.

With the match tied at 3, all eyes turned to court three, where Rebel freshman Gustav Hansson and Florida junior Gordon Watson were locked in a third set battle. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Hansson came back to take the second 6-3. He led 4-2 in the final set and then served for it at 5-4 before Watson broke and held serve for a 6-5 lead.  Hansson answered winning his serve at love to force the tiebreaker. In the tiebreaker, Hansson raced out to a 6-3 lead with two serves to win it, but Watson broke to make it 6-5. With Watson serving to even it up, Hansson won the next point to clinch it.

“It’s an amazing feeling to win like this,” Hansson said. “I just tried to play my game and continue to hit my shots, and it worked out. It meant a lot to have all my teammates standing on the sideline cheering for me.”

Despite a 6-2 win from Nik Scholtz and Zvonimir Babic in their first match together at No. 2 doubles, Florida won at No. 1 and 3 doubles to take the opening point. They carried the momentum over to singles, winning five first sets.

The Gators got straight set wins at Nos. 5 against Babic and No. 4 against William Kallberg for the 3-0 lead.

Scholtz was the only Rebel to win his first set, and ended up winning 7-5, 6-3 against 34th-ranked Maxx Lipman at No. 1 singles to get Ole Miss on the board.

In a battle between two ranked players, 80th-ranked Stefan Lindmark finished off a comeback at No. 2 singles, taking out 81st-ranked Elliott Orkin 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to get the Rebels within 3-2.

The match hinged on a second set tiebreaker at No. 6 singles between sophomore Ricardo Jorge and Gator Oliver Landert. Jorge had dropped the first set 6-3, but he battled to the tiebreaker and took it 7-5 to force a third set, which he won 6-4 to square the match and set up the exciting outcome.

“We knew it would be a close match,” head coach Toby Hansson said. “The team showed great resiliency and great fighting spirit. They never stopped believing even when we were down 3-0. Ricardo winning the second set tiebreak shifted the momentum. I felt like if we could get that we had a chance. We are extremely pleased with the effort and the guys’ ability to handle the tough conditions. This is a tough place to play. We are looking forward to the match against South Carolina tomorrow.”

For more information on Ole Miss Men’s Tennis, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissMTennis, on Facebook at OleMissMTennis and on Instagram at OleMissMTennis.

#32 Ole Miss 4, #13 Florida 3


1. #32 Watson/Hidalgo (UF) def. Kallberg/Hansson (OM) 6-2
2. Scholtz/Babic (OM) def. #49 Lipman/Orkin (UF) 6-2
3. #43 Wardell/Landert (UF) def. Lindmark/Jorge (OM) 6-4
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
1. Nik Scholtz (OM) def. #34 Maxx Lipman (UF) 7-5, 6-3
2. #80 Stefan Lindmark (OM) def. #81 Elliott Orkin (UF) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. Gustav Hansson (OM) def. Gordon Watson (UF) 6-7, 6-3, 7-6
4. #60 Diego Hidalgo (UF) def. William Kallberg (OM) 6-3, 6-3
5. Chase Perez-Blanco (UF) def. Zvonimir Babic (OM) 6-4, 6-2
6. Ricardo Jorge (OM) def. Oliver Landert (UF) 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
Order of Finish: 5, 4, 1, 2, 6, 3