Men's tennis opens season at SEC Indoors

Sixth-ranked Ole Miss travels to Lexington, Ky., for this year's Southeastern Conference Indoor Tennis Championships. The first home match for Ole Miss men's tennis is on Friday, January 27 against the Louisville Cardinals in Oxford.

Many of the nation's top players from arguably the top conference will be in Lexington, Ky., this weekend for the SEC Indoor Championships, including members of the No. 6 nationally-ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team. The four-day event, being hosted by the University of Kentucky, begins Friday and concludes Monday with the singles and doubles finals.

Four conference teams are ranked among the top 10 in the preseason national rankings and eight are among the top 25. Every school in the conference will be sending players.

The back-to-back SEC Champion Rebels will have a strong contingent in Lexington, led by junior Eric Claesson and senior Juan Pablo Di Cesare. Claesson, ranked No. 22 in the nation, reached the semifinals at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic last weekend in Palm Springs, Calif., and teamed with Di Cesare to advance to the doubles semis.

Sophomore Erling Tveit is ranked No. 26 in the nation in singles and comes in with an 11-3 record. Fellow sophomore Bram ten Berge is ranked No. 83 in singles with an 11-5 record, and also teams with sophomore Jakob Klaeson for a 4-1 record and a No. 50 ranking in doubles.

Newcomer Robbye Poole, who transferred from Clemson, will make his debut\ for the Rebels this weekend. A former junior standout, Poole went 9-2 at Clemson as a freshman in 2004 in helping the Tigers to the NCAA "Sweet Sixteen" and a final national ranking of No. 25.

"We are looking forward to getting the season started," head coach Billy Chadwick said. "We feel we have the makings of another great team as we compete for our third consecutive SEC Championship. This is perhaps the strongest individual tournament next to the NCAA Championships. Many of the players competing in Lexington will be contending for a national championship in May."

Ole Miss has enjoyed huge success at the SEC Indoor Championships, boasting a singles or doubles finalist nine consecutive years from 1993-2001, including five SEC Champions. Joakim Appelqvist and Ali Hamadeh won the doubles title in 1994, and then the Rebels claimed back-to-back singles titles in 1995 and 1996 with Mahesh Bhupathi and Johan Hede. Sebastien DeChaunac won the singles title in 1998. James Shortall reached the singles final in 1999.

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