Rodionov, Zuk Into Challenger Biel/Bienne Final

Jurij Rodionov (photo: Claudio De Capitani/freshfocus)

BIEL/STARNBERG, March 26, 2022

Two unseeded players will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the Flowbank Challenger Biel/Bienne, as Kacper Zuk from Poland will take on Austria’s Jurij Rodionov for the title of the €45,730 indoor hard-court tournament.

Zuk knocked out Swiss teenager and third favourite Dominic Stricker 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday. The 23-year-old from Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki converted three of his five break-point chances and won 55 per cent of the total points played to prevail after one hour and 13 minutes.

“Today was a difficult day for me, he played well and I clearly lacked the energy,” Stricker said.

Later in afternoon at Jan Group Arena, Rodionov overcame a bumpy start to secure a 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Filip Horansky from Slovakia. The World No. 201, who was born in Nuremberg, Germany, fired 12 aces and won 73 per cent of his first-service points to advance after one hour and 40 minutes.

“After the first set, I just tried to remember how hard I’ve worked and trained over the last few months and how hard I wanted to earn this spot in the final,” Rodionov told the crowd during his post-match on-court interview.

Zuk is seeking his second ATP Challenger career title following his maiden triumph at the Split Open in Croatia in April last year. Rodionov could lift his fourth Challenger trophy, his first since 2020 Morelos, Mexico. World No. 212 Zuk won both of the previous two meetings between the two.

Frenchmen triumph in doubles

In other action, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Albano Olivetti captured the doubles title. The top seeds from France beat the all-Indian combination of Purav Raja and Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-3, 6-4. The encounter lasted one hour and six minutes.

By winning their sixth Challenger team title, Herbert and Olivetti split €2,670 in prize money and pocketed 80 ATP Doubles Ranking points.


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