BIEL/STARNBERG, March 24, 2022
Home favourite Dominic Stricker opened his title bid at the Flowbank Challenger Biel/Bienne with a 7-6(5), 6-1 first-round victory over Yuichi Sugita of Japan on Wednesday. About 300 young tennis players from all across the country created a great atmosphere inside the Jan Group Arena and witnessed when the No. 3 seed of the €45,730 indoor hard-court tournament struck 10 aces and won 69 per cent of his first-service points to advance after one hour and 18 minutes.
Stricker claimed the 2020 French Open boys’ singles as well as doubles title and captured his maiden Challenger crown on home soil in Lugano in March last year. In early February 2022, the 19-year-old lefty lifted his second Challenger career trophy, winning the Cleveland Challenger in the United States. Stricker made it to the stage of the last four in Biel/Bienne last season but fell to eventual champion Liam Broady from Great Britain. In this year’s second round, the World No. 157 will face US-American qualifier Aleksandar Kovacevic.
Riedi overcomes slow start
Leandro Riedi, runner-up to Stricker at the 2020 Roland-Garros junior tournament, also booked his spot in the second round. The 20-year-old wild card entry rallied past Dutch qualifier Gijs Brouwer 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Riedi, who is coached by former pro Yves Allegro capitalized on two of his three break-point chances and won five points more than his opponent to secure victory in one hour and 21 minutees. Up next for Riedi will be Finnish qualifier Otto Virtanen.
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