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Minnesota prep championship tennis moves outside, where the game has always been

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 06/07/21, 6:00PM CDT

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Prior Lake and St. Cloud Tech high schools will host the boys' state tournaments set to begin Tuesday.


Mounds View's Bjorn Swenson was just a freshman in 2019 when he won the Class 2A boys’ tennis singles state championship. He's the top-ranked player this year. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine

For the first time in more than 20 years, the boys’ tennis state tournament will be played outdoors.

COVID-19 restrictions and safety precautions necessitated the move from the tournament’s long-established indoor homes Baseline Tennis Center at the University of Minnesota and Reed Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis. Starting Tuesday, Class 2A will be held at Prior Lake High School and Class 1A at St. Cloud Tech High School.

Before 2000, the early June weather allowed the tournament to be held out of doors often. The last time the tournament was scheduled at a venue without an indoor option was 1998, when Edina won the Class 2A team title and Hornets senior Cesar Vargas, a foreign exchange student, won the singles crown at the courts at Eden Prairie Community Center.

The move outdoors, after not having a tennis season in the spring of 2020, is not expected to matter much to the players, who play outside all season.

“While Baseline Tennis Center is an iconic place to play the tournament, I don’t think it will have much of an effect on the tennis,” said Edina sophomore No. 1 singles player Matthew Fullerton. “Tennis is an outdoor sport.”

Both tournaments have team competition on Tuesday and Wednesday, with singles and doubles titles on the line Thursday and Friday.

Class 2A

At Prior Lake
Tuesday • team quarterfinals
Duluth East vs. Wayzata, 8 a.m.
Rochester Mayo vs. Mahtomedi, 10 a.m.
Bemidji vs. Edina, noon
East Ridge vs. Orono, 2 p.m.
Wednesday
Team semifinals, 8 and 10 a.m.
Team third place, noon
Team championship, 2 p.m.
Thursday • individuals
Singles
First round, 8 a.m.
Quarterfinals, noon
Doubles
First round, 10 a.m.
Quarterfinals, 2 p.m.
Friday
Singles, doubles semifinals, 8 a.m.
Championship, third place, 11:30 a.m.

Top-seeded singles players
1. Bjorn Swenson, Mounds View, junior (18-0)
2. Matthew Fullerton, Edina, sophomore (20-0)
3. Collin Beduhn, Wayzata, sophomore (26-1)
4. Allen Gong, Eagan, junior (22-0)
5. Sujit Chepuri, Blake, senior (15-8)

2019 champions
Team: Mounds View
Singles: Bjorn Swenson, Mounds View
Doubles: Nisal Liyanage/Sourabh Terekanambi, Eastview

Class 1A

At St. Cloud Tech
Tuesday • team quarterfinals
St. Paul Academy vs. Breck, 8 a.m.
Rochester Lourdes vs. Virginia, 10 a.m.
Luverne vs. Mounds Park Academy, noon
Mound Westonka vs. Thief River Falls, 2 p.m.
Wednesday
Team semifinals, 8 and 10 a.m.
Team third place, noon
Team championship, 2 p.m.
Thursday • individuals
Singles
First round, 8 a.m.
Quarterfinals, noon
Doubles
First round, 10 a.m.
Quarterfinals, 2 p.m.
Friday
Singles, doubles semifinals, 8 a.m.
Championship, third place, 11:30 a.m.

Top-seeded singles players
1. Clayton Haberman, Breck, senior (15-4)
2. Marjan Veldic, Rochester Lourdes, sophomore (14-2)
3. Jack Linder, Mound Westonka, senior (21-4)
4. Evan Fraser, Mounds Park Academy, sophomore (14-4)
5. Ian Modjeski, Winona Cotter, senior (15-4)

2019 champions
Team: Mounds Park Academy
Singles: Parker Law, Mounds Park Acad.
Doubles: Jeffrey Huang/Brennan Keogh, St. Paul Academy

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