Laaksonen Marches On At Helsinki Challenger

Henri Laaksonen (photo: Finnish Tennis Association)

HELSINKI/STARNBERG, November 17, 2021

Henri Laaksonen from Switzerland has booked his spot in the quarterfinals of the HPP Open in Helsinki. The second seed of the €44,820 ATP Challenger Tour hard-court tournament defeated Julian Lenz of Germany 6-2, 7-5 on Wednesday afternoon.

Laaksonen fired 16 aces and won 86 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in one hour and 22 minutes. The World No. 97, a six time champion on the ATP Challenger Tour, will next face either eighth-seeded Serbian Nikola Milojevic or Ramkumar Ramanathan of India.

Laaksonen remains the highest-ranked player left in the singles draw as top seed and home favourite Emil Ruusuvuori was forced to withdraw from his first-round match against Russian qualifier Alexander Shevchenko with abdominal problems.

“It must have already started in Stockholm. I trained here yesterday, and in the second session I was no longer able to walk …. It’s really annoying. I had really been waiting for this season-ending tournament, and now I can’t play in front of a great home crowd,” Ruusuvuori said, quoted by Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.


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Shevchenko cruised past French lucky loser Kyrian Jacquet 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes to face German veteran Matthias Bachinger in the second round.

The winner of this match will play Mats Moraing in the quarterfinals, who won the all-leftie affair with fellow German Maximilian Marterer 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-4. The 29-year-old from Mülheim an der Ruhr outpointed Marterer 98-97 after one hour and 59 minutes.