Paul, Ruzic Successful At ITF Future Nord In Hamburg

Jakub Paul (photo: Claudio Gärtner

HAMBURG, October 24, 2021

Swiss youngster Jakub Paul and Croatian teenager Antonia Ruzic were crowned singles champions of the ITF Future Nord, Germany’s lone combined tennis event held on hard court at the Hamburger Tennis Verband.

Paul defeated local wild card entry Henri Squire 6-4, 6-2 in the men’s final on Sunday. The 22-year-old withstood seven aces and broke the German’s serve five times to seal victory in one hour and 13 minutes.

Paul captured his second title on the ITF World Tennis Tour following his triumph on home soil in Muttenz in August this year.

“I have collected a lot of experience by winning the title. I’m happy that I was able to play here in Hamburg the same successful way as I did in Muttenz,” said Paul, who joined his compatriots Yannik Steinegger and Leandro Riedi as titlists at this year’s Future Nord. Steinegger and Riedi captured the doubles trophies on Saturday.

“It’s great that we now have six or seven guys between the ages of 18 and 24, who play at a good level. The Swiss Tennis Federation does a great job in terms of working with the young players. And of course it also has to do with Roger, as he motivates the younger ones. But there will only be one like him,” Paul added.

Babos retires, Ruzic takes second career title

In the women’s final, 18-year-old Ruzic benefited from the retirement of No. 2 seed Timea Babos. The former World No. 25 from Hungary, who was competing in her first tournament since July, was forced to stop playing due to a left adductor injury when Ruzic was leading 6-2, 4-1 after 57 minutes.

“I hadn’t played a 25K for 11 years and I must say this tournament was organized very well,” said Babos, a four-time Grand Slam champion in doubles. “I wouldn’t be honest though, if I said I was hoping to come back. But I am hoping to come back next year to the WTA tournament in Hamburg.”

Ruzic claimed her second consecutive ITF World Tennis Tour title after her success in Lagos, Portugal last week.