Bjorn Swenson, after leading Mounds View to the state tennis team championship Wednesday, captured the top individual prize as well on Friday.

The 6-foot, 145-pound freshman slugged his way to the Class AA singles championship, capped by a 6-2, 6-4 conquest of Rochester Century senior Varun Iyer.

“I left every scrap of energy I had on the court,” said Swenson, who entered the tournament as No. 4 seed. He finished the season 38-3, including splits with three opponents.

Swenson became the second individual champion in the Mounds View program after Wyatt McCoy in 2007.

“He went out there to win a state championship, and he did, and I couldn’t be prouder of him,” coach Scott Sundstrom said.

In action Thursday and Friday at the University of Minnesota, Swenson defeated Rochester Mayo senior Simon Kennel 6-3, 6-1; Blake sophomore Sujit Chepuri 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; and Orono senior Karhik Papisetty 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 to reach the finals.

Sundstrom praised Swenson for his process: “He shows up early and mentally prepares, warms his body up on the court before hitting, gets a good warm-up in, so that he is focused and ready to play. He has a clear strategy going into matches, and is able to regroup when he needs to. He is a heck of a competitor and never gives up.” 

Swenson said he played several other sports growing up — soccer, hockey, baseball, football, running — but is totally focused on tennis now. “That’s the sport my parents wanted me to try, and I loved it right away,” said Swenson, adding that his father played college tennis.

Swenson is doubly thrilled to win the singles title while playing for a state championship team. “I love the team aspect of tennis,” he said. “It’s awesome to play on a team like this.”

Three players beat Swenson this year but he got payback on all three. He split two regular-season matches with Blake’s Joe Mairs. He also lost in the regular season to Eastview’s Gavin Young and to Iyer. In the state team finals, he was leading Young 6-4, 3-0 when Young sustained an achilles injury and had to withdraw. Young, top-ranked at the end of the regular season, also withdrew from singles competition.

Mounds View’s other singles entrant, eighth-grader Hank Trondson, lost in the first round to Iyer 6-2, 6-4.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.