Oct. 20, 2014
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Ohio State freshman Mikael Torpegaard completed his impressive run at the ITA Midwest Regional Championship on Monday, taking down top-seeded Jared Hiltzik of Illinois to win the singles title.
Torpegaard’s run wasn’t easy over the last three days. He opened the tournament with three straight-set victories but needed all three sets to win each of the final three matches. He won the opening set on Monday against Hiltzik, the No. 6-ranked player in the country, 6-4 but then dropped the second set 3-6. In the deciding set, he won the final two games to claim a 6-4 victory.
The native of Denmark becomes the second Ohio State freshman to win an ITA Midwest singles title. Blaz Rola also won the signles title as a freshman in 2010. The Buckeyes have dominated the singles event in recent years, winning a title in eight of the last nine years. Torpegaard joins Steven Moneke (2006), Justin Kronauge (2007), Bryan Koniecko (2008), Blaz Rola (2010, 2011) and Peter Kobelt (2012, 2013).
After winning the first set 6-4, Torpegaard fell behind Hiltzik in the second 3-0. He rallied to win the next three games to square the set at 3-3 but dropped the next three games and the set 6-3. In the final set, Torpegaard again fell behind early, digging himself a 2-0 hole. Down 3-2, Torpegaard was one point away from going down 4-2 before battling back to win the game and again evening the set at 3-3.
That proved to be the turning point as he used that momentum to win three of the next four games to close out the match.
The Buckeyes’ 16th-ranked doubles team of sophomore Ralf Steinbach and senior Kevin Metka were also vying for the doubles championship on Monday, facing Notre Dame’s Eddy Covalschi and Josh Hagar. The first set was played on serve and was decided in a tie-breaker. The Irish pair jumped out 5-1 in the tie-breaker and would eventually go on to win the set.
With the second set tied 4-4, the Buckeyes rallied to win the next two games to send the match into a super tie-breaker. OSU took an early 5-1 lead but Covalschi and Hagar would fend off four match points to stay alive. The Irish duo then completed the comeback, winning 12-10 to take the title.
Day 4 Results
Singles Mikael Torpegaard def. #6 Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
Doubles Eddy Covalschi/Josh Hagar (Notre Dame) def. #16 Ralf Steinbach/Kevin Metka 7-6(2), 4-6, 12-10