COLUMBUS, September 26, 2016
Playing in his first ATP Challenger Tour event, Ohio State junior Mikael Torpegaard claims the $50,000 Columbus Challenger singles title, defeating world number 97 Benjamin Becker 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 inside the OSU Varsity Tennis Center on Sunday.
This is just a continuation of a tremendous run Torpegaard has been on in 2016. He ascended to the number one collegiate ranking in the spring, finished runner-up in the NCAA Singles Championship in May, advanced to a pair of ITF Futures Tour finals, won his first Pro Circuit event and clinched a pivotal Davis Cup match for Denmark over the summer. Then earlier this month, he was ranked as the number one collegiate player in the country in the Oracle ITA pre-season rankings.
After a great run through a solid field, he faced the top-seeded Becker in Sunday’s final. The match opened with each playing trying to feel the other one out. After each held serve through the first eight games, Torpegaard jumped on Becker’s serve and claimed the first break of the match to go up 5-4. He then held serve at love and won the first set 6-4.
Becker responded with a very solid second set. The German native broke Torpegaard’s first service game and raced out to a 3-0 lead. He later broke Torpegaard a second time and would go on to win the set 6-1.
In the first game of the deciding set, Torpegaard fended off three break points to hold serve and grab a bit of momentum. Leading 2-1, Torpegaard came back from down 0-40 to force three deuce points and a pair of break points but Becker was able to hold to remain on serve 2-2.
After holding serve, Torpegaard again put pressure on Becker by attacking his second serve and would snag the first break of the final set to pull in front 4-2. A strong service game gave him a bit more late-match bounce and he was able to close out the victory 6-2 in the third after one hour and 33 minutes.
Torpegaard came into the week ranked number 642 in the world and improved to 371st position on Monday. He takes away $7,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP ranking points. He will start the collegiate season in a little over a week as the Buckeyes head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the ITA All-American Championships. Torpegaard has received an invitation into the main singles draw while he and doubles partner Herkko Pollanen will be in the main doubles draw.