TULSA, Okla. – The third straight day of rain at the 2017 Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships caused the tournament’s morning matches to be played indoors, but that didn’t stop top-seeded Mikael Torpegaard of Ohio State from putting on a commanding performance in the first round of the main draw on Thursday.
Ranked No. 1 in the Oracle ITA Preseason Division I Men’s Singles Rankings, Torpegaard pounced on Mississippi State’s Giovanni Oradini early. Oradini, who earned his way into the main draw by defeating Michigan’s Myles Schalet in the third round of the qualifying draw, dropped the first set to Torpegaard 6-1. The Buckeye cruised to victory in the first set with a barrage of hard serves.
Torpegaard’s momentum slowed in the second set, as he and Oradini traded a few games before the Gentofte, Denmark native finished the set 6-4.
“I like the indoor courts here,” said Torpegaard on having to play indoors for his first round match. “I get a lot more out of my serve. I was pretty satisfied with the way I served and played today.”
Oklahoma’s Ferran Calvo, the only prequalifier in the main draw, continued his meteoric run in the first round. Facing off against Artem Kapshuk of Texas Tech, the 2017 JUCO champion showed no fear as he jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead in the first set. Kapshuk wouldn’t go way though, taking four out of the next five games to tie at five games a piece. Calvo ended up pulling out the first set, 7-5.
Calvo roared out to another 4-1 lead in the second set, but once again allowed Kapshuk to pull within reach, giving up three straight games. Calvo traded points with the Red Raider in the fifth game, but came out ahead and won the match 7-5, 6-4.
Alexander Lebedev of Notre Dame faced a tough adversary in the form of No. 6 seed William Bushamuka of Kentucky. Lebedev, fresh off winning the ITA National Summer Championships at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, looked to have a boost of residual confidence as he took it to Bushamuka. Bushamuka appeared off his game as Lebedev raced out to a 5-0 lead in the first set. Lebedev went on to win the set 6-1.
The second set saw Lebedev drop the first game but win three straight games to go up 3-1. However, Bushamuka retired after the fourth game, becoming the highest-seeded player to lose in the first round. Bushamuka will play tomorrow as the No.1 seed in the consolation draw.
“It feels great,” said Lebedev on advancing to the next round. “I really feel like walking around like I belong and I’m super confident.”
Other notable top seeds fell as well. Wayne Montgomery (9-16) of Georgia dropped his match Alexis Galarneau of NC State, 6-2, 7-6(6). Oklahoma’s Spencer Papa (9-16) fell to Utah’s Dan Little, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.
In the doubles draw, top-ranked tandem Skander Mansouri and Christian Seraphim of Wake Forest fell to Florida’s McClain Kessler and Duarte Vale. The Gators ate up their opponents, winning the match 6-7, 6-3, 11-9.
The Demon Deacons weren’t the only top team to be upset by teams from the qualifying draw. Six of the eight qualifying teams in the main draw came out victorious in the first round.
Georgia’s second-seeded duo of Robert Loeb and Jan Zielinski dropped a hard-fought match to Texas A&M’s Juan Carlos Aguilar and Jordi Arconada, 6-3, 3-6, 10-3.
The Saint Francis Health System ITA Men’s All-American Championships event page will include draw updates, links to scoring updates, live streaming and photo galleries, in addition to daily main draw recaps. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter by following @ITA_Tennis and using the hashtag #TulsaITA.
This marks the 13th straight year that the University of Tulsa serves as the official tournament host, and all of the main draw action takes place on the courts of the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
Singles quarterfinalists, doubles semifinalists and consolation finalists (singles and doubles) will receive an automatic entry into the 2017 Oracle ITA National Fall Championships on Nov. 1-5, held at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, California, and the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California.