Mounds View High School junior Bjorn Swenson of North Oaks became the 2021 State Class 2A Singles champion on Friday, June 11. During a blisteringly hot day at Prior Lake High School, following over an hour and a half delay, Swenson clinched the title with a 6–2, 6–4 win against Edina’s Matthew Fullerton.
Swenson earned the same championship title his freshman year, and since no tournament took place during the pandemic in 2020, this was an especially meaningful achievement to cap his impressive 22–0 season. Swenson is one of only two Mounds View players to clinch the state championships in tennis, joining Wyatt McCoy (2007) in that honor.
Swenson is currently ranked by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) as the No. 3 player in the nation among boys under 18. He began is tennis career playing tennis at the North Oaks East Rec courts and taking lessons at the North Oaks Golf Club program.
I asked Bjorn about his big win, the season that wasn’t, and what he envisions for his future tennis career.
Q: After handily winning the first set, you were trailing in the second. What was going through your mind as you battled back in the second set?
A: I kept trying to fight for every point. And, I knew that if I kept fighting I could break his serve and get it done.
Q: Your final serve really seemed to encompass all your strength and focus. Can you recall the moments directly following that point, when you knew you were the state champ?
A: When I had match point, I wanted to stay loose and hit a huge serve. I did and it paid off nicely. It was a crazy feeling!
Q: Did the delay before your game have any effect on your play? Tennis is such a mental game that delays or interruptions can sometimes wreak havoc for even the best players.
A: I knew going into the day that there would be a chance of rain so I was mentally prepared when the delay happened.It didn’t affect my game, and I played very well.
Q: Like so many athletes, last year’s season was a wash due to COVID-19. How did you stay positive and prepared when lacking the usual games and tournaments?
A: It was tough to have the previous season cancelled but I knew that we would get it back so I stayed motivated every day to get better.
Q: You’ve said you’ll play doubles next year with your younger brother, Soren, who’s entering seventh grade. Is he as competitive as you are?
A: Yes, we are both very competitive and it will be a blast playing with him.