Rebel Netters Finish Runner-Up At USTA/ITA National Indoor
FLUSHING, N.Y. – In a match-up between two of the nation’s top 10 teams, the 10th-ranked Ole Miss duo of Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann finished runner-up at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Sunday, dropping the final in straight sets to fourth-ranked Texas A&M’s Jeff Dadamo and Austin Krajicek here at the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center.
The Thiemann’s faced up an uphill battle after losing the first 6-3, but they rallied and had several chances to force a third set, before succumbing in the second set tiebreaker, 7-6(3). The Texas A&M duo hit a high percentage of first serves, but the Thiemann’s did have several opportunities to break in the second set.
“We got a little unlucky. We started off slowly,” Marcel said. “The other guys missed an opportunity to break us in the second set, and we kept doing what we had been doing the whole tournament. Every time we had a chance to break them though, they served an ace or hit a service winner. They didn’t give us much.”
“We didn’t play our best tennis today, Chris echoed. “They served really well in the first set and broke us right away. They played a great tiebreaker. It was a great tournament for us. We’re obviously disappointed because we lost. In a couple of days though, we’ll realize what we accomplished.”
Assistant coach Toby Hansson, himself a doubles finalist at this event in 2000, was on hand with the Rebels this weekend in New York.
“Marcel and Chris struggled a little bit to find their rhythm on serving and returning in the first set. The twins fought hard in the second set and picked up their games. They were basically a point away from getting the second set,” Hansson said. “It was a competitive match. We have to take our hats off to the opponents, who played a more consistent match. They beat us straight up.”
The Thiemann’s are the first Rebels to advance to a final at the USTA/ITA National Indoor, topping former All-American teammates Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berge, who reached the semifinals in 2008.
The Rebel tandem almost didn’t get out of the first round, falling behind early against the team from Oklahoma State. After that match, they played some great tennis according to Hansson, as they beat two good teams (No. 29 California and No. 24 Texas) on their way to the final.
“The tournament started off a little shaky for the twins, as they were down a double break (4-1), in the match against Oklahoma State. Ever since that match, they have played some of the best doubles I’ve seen them play. Probably the best match they’ve played was in the semifinals,” Hansson said. “We are extremely happy for them. They deserve the success they’ve enjoyed, and it’s been fun to see them take their games to another level.”
The Thiemann’s concluded the fall with an 8-2 record and the ITA Southern Regional Doubles Championship in addition to their runner-up showing here at the National Indoor.
Putting the disappointment aside for a moment Marcel said, “This is definitely a big accomplishment for us and for Ole Miss. It’s an unbelievable confidence boost, with Tucker (Vorster) being here too (in singles). We all played well in the fall, and we are excited to compete against the other teams in the spring. We are ready to make some noise.”
Ole Miss will conclude the fall Nov. 12-14 at the Lakewood Ranch Intercollegiate Clay Courts in Bradenton, Fla. Sophomore Adrian Forberg Skogeng will be competing for the Rebels.
USTA/ITA NATIONAL INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – FLUSHING, N.Y.
Final – Jeff Dadamo/Austin Krajicek (TAMU) def. Marcel Thiemann/Chris Thiemann (OM) 6-3, 7-6(3).