Future Nord Singles Finals Are Set

Henri Squire (photo: Witters)

HAMBURG/STARNBERG, October 23, 2021

The ITF World Tennis Tour has returned to Germany this week for the Future Nord, the lone combined tennis event in the country, being held on hard court at the Hamburger Tennis Verband.

Three Germans headlined Saturday’s semi-finals action in the men’s event. Local wild card entry Henri Squire continued his fine run of form by knocking out his compatriot and No. 4 seed Johannes Haerteis 6-4, 6-4. The 21-year-old, currently sitting at a career-high World No. 614, withstood eight aces and broke Haerteis’ serve three times to prevail after one hour and 32 minutes.

“The match was closer than what the final score indicated, as only one break in each set made the difference,” Squire said. “I played well and served well. I also felt better on court than yesterday and I am just happy to be in the final.”

Squire, who upset the tournament’s top seed Daniel Masur en route to the championship match, is seeking his first title on the Pro Circuit. “I have being playing well over the last couple of months. I came here to win the title. Entering the tournament by a wild card doesn’t mean that much to me. The ranking is not that important, it’s more about playing a good level of tennis.”

Squire will next challenge Jakub Paul from Switzerland. The 22-year-old defeated Louis Wessels from Germany 6-4, 6-4 after one hour and 12 minutes.

Paul is bidding for his second ITF World Tennis Tour title following his triumph on home soil in Muttenz in August this year. Squire and Paul will meet for the first time.

Babos reaches the women’s final

In the women’s competition, Timea Babos is back in a final, playing her first tournament since July. The former World No. 25 from Hungary, who suffered from a hip injury during the summer, edged past No. 5 seed Susan Bandecchi of Switzerland 6-4, 7-5. Babos outpointed her rival 72-68 after one hour and 42 minutes.

“Obviously I am really happy. It is a very challenging week. Last year we couldn’t play due to coronavirus crisis. This year, I got the Covid and couldn’t travel. I also had to deal with injuries. It is not easy for me to come back but I am fighting. I am not playing my best tennis but I am there, I am in the final. That was my goal.”

The four-time Grand Slam champion in doubles will face Antonia Ruzic in the final. The only 18-year-old Croatian cruised past French qualifier Mallaurie Noel 6-3, 6-2 in 59 minutes.

Babos is seeking her first title since lifting the trophy at the 2018 WTA International Taiwan Open. Ruzic could clinch her third career title after her victories at the ITF World Tennis Tour W15 event in Bad Waltersdorf, Austria and the W25 tournament in Lagos, Portugal earlier in the season. It will be the first match-up between the two.