November 21, 2016

Buckeyes Compete at Home at Columbus Challenger

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Nov. 21, 2016

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State signee John McNally won his first ATP Challenger main draw match as he took down current Ohio State senior Herkko Pollanen on Tuesday evening on day two of the Columbus Challenger at the OSU Varsity Tennis Center.

McNally faced just one break point in the 6-1, 6-3 victory over Pollanen. He advanced to play world No. 139 Henri Laaksonen in the second round on Thursday.

Peter Kobelt also advanced to the second round with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Tucker Vorster. He will face No. 5-seed Mitchell Krueger who took down fellow former Buckeye Hunter Callahan 6-4, 6-3.

Hugo Di Feo won the opening set today over Mikelis Libietis 7-5 but Libietis rebounded with a 6-2 victory in the second. The third set started well for Di Feo as he won the first three games but Libietis broke back in the fifth game and the two would hold the rest of the set into a tie-breaker. The Latvia native jumped out to an early 4-1 lead and would eventually down Di Feo 7-3 in the breaker.

The marquee match of the day was collegiate No. 1 Mikael Torpegaard vs. world No. 77 Taylor Fritz. Both players played fairly well in the first set with each saving multiple breaks points. The set went into a tie-breaker and Fritz ran out to a 4-0 lead and took the breaker 7-3.

It was all Fritz in the second set as he dominated on his way to a 7-6, 6-1 victory.

Three Buckeye doubles teams will be in action on Wednesday. Di Feo and Martin Joyce will take on Dean O’Brien and Hans Hach Verougo at 10 a.m. Later in the afternoon, Torpegaard and Pollanen will face teammates Matt Mendez and Hunter Tubert.

Peter Kobelt will cap the evening in a doubles match with partner Sam Barry against David O’Hare and Joe Salisbury.

November 22, 2016

The ATP Challenger Tour is hosting a second Columbus Challenger this week as part of its Collegiate Tour and the draws are filled with Buckeyes.

Collegiate No. 1 Mikael Torpegaard, who won the singles title at the Columbus Challenger back in September, received a wildcard into the main draw and will take on world No. 77 Taylor Fritz in what should be the marquee matchup on Tuesday afternoon. Torpegaard was ranked in the mid-700s prior to his victory two months ago and has risen all the way up to No. 340.

In addition to the top-seeded Fritz being in action Tuesday, No. 2-seed and Carmel, Ind., native Rajeev Ram will open his tournament as well. Ram, the former Illinois All-American, is coming of a run to the doubles finals of the Barclays World Tour Finals in London last week. He will take on Erik Crepaldi.

In the first round on Monday, Martin Joyce was the only Buckeye in action as he took on Kevin King. Joyce played well in the first set but just couldn’t finish off a break. He had four break points in the opening game and total of 10 in the opening set that eventually went to a tie-breaker. King would prevail 7-5 in the breaker and then rolled that momentum into a 6-2 victory in the second set.

Hugo Di Feo received a wild card and will play Mikelis Libietis in his first round match. Former Buckeye All-American Peter Kobelt opens against South African Tucker Vorster and the final match will feature a pair of Buckeye wildcards in senior Herkko Pollanen and signee John McNally.

In qualifying action over the weekend, six Buckeyes took to the court in hopes of earning a spot in the main draw. Matt Mendez fell to ITA Midwest Regional champion and qualifier Strong Kirchheimer of Northwestern 6-3, 6-4. Alex Kobelt also fell to a qualifier in JC Aragone of Virginia 6-2, 6-3.

Kyle Seelig advanced to the second round by a walkover and then fell to the third qualifier in Aron Hiltzik of Illinois 6-3, 6-3. At the bottom of the bracket, Hunter Tubert won his first round match over Dean O’Brian 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-2 and advanced to face former Buckeye Hunter Callahan who took down Riley Reist in straight sets. In the Buckeye battle on Sunday, Callahan got the best of Tubert 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and would then knock-off Gonzales Austin 7-6 (5), 6-4 to advance to the main draw. Callahan will face Mitchell Krueger in the first round.

The doubles draw features three Buckeye doubles teams. Torpegaard and Pollanen will face teammates Mendez and Tubert in the first round while