April 25, 2009
AUBURN - The No.2 Ole Miss men's tennis team snagged another victory
in the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Tournament Saturday
afternoon, defeating 10th-ranked Florida, 4-0, to advance to Sunday's
The Rebels, the regular-season SEC Champion, will advance on to the
championship match for the sixth time in the team's history. Ole Miss
is 1-4 when playing in the title match with the lone win coming last
season in a 4-1 decision over Florida. The Rebels will face either
Tennessee or defending NCAA champion Georgia in the championship match.
The 2009 SEC Men's Tennis Tournament is a four-day tournament hosted by
Auburn University at the Yarbrough Tennis Center. One of the toughest
tennis leagues in the country, the SEC features seven teams currently
ranked in the top-25 in the nation by the Intercollegiate Tennis
In doubles play, the first-ranked team of Jonas Berg and Bram ten Berg
dominated the courts in an 8-3 victory against number 39th-ranked team
Antoine Benneteau and Joseph Burkhardt. The Rebels managed to follow up
with another win against the Gators when the team of Kalle Norberg and
Otto Sauer took a win over the team of Alex Lacroix and Carlos G. De
Cueto, 8-3, giving Ole Miss the doubles point.
When doubles play ended, Ole Miss' Devin Britton and Tucker Vorster
were tied at 6-6 with Florida's Jeff Dadamo and Johnny Hamui.
"We played great, we started out playing really well in doubles",
said Ole Miss head coach Billy Chadwick. "In singles, anytime you can
play a top-10 team and take every first set, then you are really playing
great. I was really proud of us today."
Playing in temperatures in the high 80s, Chadwick said it becomes even
more important to jump ahead early in matches.
"When you are playing in the heat, it works for both teams," said
Chadwick. "I told the guys that they may be hot, but their opponent is
hot too. You have got to make sure that you play every single point and
not let the conditions get to you. We were fortunate to win a couple of
very close first sets, though."
In the singles play, 16th-ranked Britton of Ole Miss struck first with
a 6-3, 6-1 victory over No. 32 Lacriox in No. 2 singles. The Rebels'
Marcel Theimann kept his team rolling with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dadamo on
Sauer clinched the match-deciding victory for Ole Miss as he downed
Hamui, 7-6 (3), 6-3 on court five. The win gave the Rebels the fourth
and final point of the match and a date in Sunday's championship.
"I think I played good the whole match. I think I was up 5-3 in the
first set, but Johnny Hamui came back and played better," said Sauer.
"But, I ended up winning the first set, which was very important and I
think was the key to winning. It was good, I played good and I am very
When play ended, there were three unfinished singles matches. No. 21
Berg of Ole Miss and No. 21 Cueto stood at 7-6, 2-3. No. 39 Norberg of
Ole Miss was leading Florida's Benneteau, 6-1, 4-4 and ten Berge (Ole
Miss) was near the victory over Burkhardt, leading in the third set at
6-2, 3-6, 5-2.
"I thought that we played with a lot of heart today," said Florida
coach Andy Jackson. "I think we did have a bit of a hangover from the
nature of yesterday's match (against Alabama). We didn't have enough
to defeat a team that has proven to be the best so far. It is a
difficult ending, but we know that we lost to a good team."
With the win, Ole Miss improves to 23-2 on the season while Florida
drops to 17-8.