Torpegaard Enjoys Another College Campus Run
OSU tennis star serves notice at Challenger event in Las Vegas
After winning his first Challenger title last month on his home courts at Ohio State University, college tennis star Mikael Torpegaard had another big run on a different college campus.
The 20-year-old from Denmark is competing at this week’s $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event at the University of Las Vegas in Nevada. After receiving a wild card into the main draw, Torpegaard upset sixth seed Denis Kudla and another American in Austin Krajicek to reach the quarter-finals. Although he fell in three sets on Friday to fourth seed Santiago Giraldo of Colombia, he was confident his first trip to Las Vegas wouldn't be his last.
“I’m privileged to have gotten a wild card into the main draw and really grateful for it,” said Torpegaard. “Everything has been organised so well this week and I couldn’t be happier to be here.”
Torpegaard is competing in just the second ATP Challenger Tour event of his career. His first one came last month at the $50,000 event in Columbus, Ohio, where he used his main draw wild card to storm through to the title. The dream week culminated with a win over top seed Benjamin Becker in the final, marking his first victory over a Top 100 player in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
“Winning there definitely gave me a lot of confidence towards moving forward not just in college, but also on the ATP World Tour," said Torpegaard. "It gave me the belief that I can play at this level of tennis, which is really important for me.”
The week in Columbus wasn’t his first time competing against the world’s best players, though. Torpegaard had a memorable Davis Cup debut for Denmark in September 2015, squaring off against both Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in a tie against Spain. Although he lost both matches, he said the weekend on court was invaluable.
“It was such a cool experience,” said Torpegaard. "Playing against two great champions gave me insight about what it takes to be a top player, how physical tennis is at that level and different aspects of what I need to improve in my game.”
Although Torpegaard will focus mainly on leading Ohio State to another NCAA title this season, he plans to keep his hand in the pro game. The Dane said he will compete in several Challengers this fall and still has an eye towards competing in the world’s biggest events.
“I just want to continue playing these Challengers and building my confidence,” said Torpegaard. “I’m hopeful about building up a head start by the time I’m ready to be on the tour full-time.”