NEW ORLEANS – Tulane men’s tennis alum Dominik Koepfer won his first ATP Challenger Tour title at Ilkley on Sunday and secured an automatic bid to the main draw of the 2019 championships at Wimbledon.
Koepfer collected six straight wins, including two over top-100 players in the world, including No. 97 Yannick Maden and No. 64 Ugo Humbert, en route to the crown. He defeated now No. 104 Dennis Novak in the championship match, as Koepfer improved his ATP world ranking to a career-high of 132.
“It’s a dream come true,” Koepfer said. “I grew up watching Wimbledon on TV as well as the other Grand Slams. It feels unreal.”
Last year, holding a world ranking of No. 240, Koepfer fell just one victory shy of a spot in Wimbledon’s main draw when he suffered a tough defeat in the final qualifying round of the tournament.
“I knew I had to move on and keep working hard,” Koepfer said. “I didn’t have some of the results I wanted earlier this year, but I knew I had the ability to play at the same level of the players I’m beating right now. It was just a matter of time until a result like this would come.”
The first former Tulane player to compete at Wimbledon was also a New Orleans native, as Cliff Sutter accomplished the feat in 1933. He was inducted into the Allstate Sugar Bowl Hall of Fame in 1980 and is also a member of the Tulane Athletics Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame and the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame.
Article courtesy of Tulane Sports Information Department.