LUGANO/STARNBERG, March 27, 2021
In just his second Challenger main draw, Swiss teenager Stephan Dominic Stricker has celebrated the biggest match win of his young career to reach his first championship match. The 18-year-old wild card entry knocked out World No. 109 and top seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in Saturday’s semi-final of the €44,820 Challenger Citta di Lugano held on the indoor hard courts of the Padiglione Conza.
Sticker blasted 21 aces, won 77 per cent of his first-service points and came back from a break down in the final set to secure victory in two hours and nine minutes.
The first 🇨🇭 teenage finalist since 2005… Dominic Stricker!
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) March 27, 2021
“Everything is going very well,” said Stricker, quoted by Swiss Tennis. “I feel very good, can play my game and hope to continue like this tomorrow, too.”
Stricker clinched the boys’ title at Roland Garros last year to become the first Swiss junior to win in Paris since his famous compatriot Stan Wawrinka in 2003. A few hours after his triumph, the lefty also won the boys’ doubles trophy with his Italian partner Flavio Cobolli.
World No. 874 Stricker joins #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti as the only two players born in 2020 to compete in a final on the ATP Challenger Tour.
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The youngest Swiss Challenger finalist since Stan Wawrinka 18 years ago will face Ukrainian qualifier Vitaliy Sachko on Sunday. The World No. 389 eased past Turkish alternate Altug Celikbilek 7-5, 6-0. The encounter lasted 69 minutes.
In other action, Andre Begemann of Germany and Andrea Vavassori from Italy captured their first team title. The top seeds outlasted No. 4 seeds Denys Molchanov and Sergiy Stakhovsky from the Ukraine in the doubles final 7-6(11), 4-6, 10-8 after one hour and 41 minutes.