Munar Handles Gstaad Altitude Best, Reaches Swiss Open Quarterfinals

Jaume Munar (photo: Brigitte Urban)

GSTAAD/WASHINGTON, July 20, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

Spain’s Jaume Munar improved to 9-2 in his last 11 matches on clay, including Challengers, after defeating Swiss wild card Alexander Ritschard, 6-3, 6-3, to advance to the quarterfinal round of the EFG Swiss Open in Gstaad on Wednesday afternoon.

Munar was among the fortunate to get on court and finish before rain washed out most of the day’s order of play. One other singles match, between No. 3 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and 115th-ranked qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas of Peru, endured three separate rain delays – the third came about after the participants returned for a grand total of one game – before play was suspended for good until Thursday.

Bautista Agut saved a match point at 4-5 (30-40) and leveled the set before he and Varillas escaped a heavy downpour on Roy Emerson Arena. The situation was a frustrating one for both the competitors and fans. Play was finally called off for the day shortly after 6 p.m., with Varillas leading Bautista Agut, 7-6 (3), 6-5 on serve. They will resume their match on Thursday not before 11:30 a.m. local time.

Two other matches, involving No. 1 seed Casper Ruud of Norway and the Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka plus Dominic Thiem of Austria against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, as well as three doubles matches, were cancelled and added to Thursday’s schedule.

Meanwhile, the 63rd-ranked Munar reached his second ATP Tour quarterfinal this season after saving seven of seven break points – including five in the second set – while breaking his opponent’s serve three times in six opportunities. Munar outpointed the 190th-ranked Ritschard 62-45 during their one hour, 21-minute match on Roy Emerson Arena.

“Here with altitude and, maybe, the fastest court we play on tour, it’s difficult [to succeed],” Munar, 25, said during an on-court interview. “The key to winning this match was [my ability] to handle the pressure. I think I played some good points and in my break points, I did it well. That was the most important thing today.”


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The last two times Munar has competed in Gstaad, in 2018 and 2019, he lost both times in the second round to Baustista Agut. Fortunately for Munar, the current World No. 19 and No. 3 seed is in the other half of the draw. So, he and Bautista Agut could only meet in Sunday’s final.

“I’m super happy [to be into the quarterfinals],” Munar added. “This is one of my favorite events. I enjoy playing in Gstaad.”

Next, Munar awaits the Ruud-Lehecka winner and will return to Roy Emerson Arena on Friday for his second tour-level quarterfinal of the season and first since Melbourne in January.

Around the EFG Swiss Open

Brothers Elias and Mikael Ymer of Sweden teamed to beat Swiss duo Marc-Andrea Huesler and Dominic Stricker, 6-4, 7-6 (5), in an hour and 29 minutes on Court 1. The Ymer brothers won 78 percent of their first-serve points, broke Huesler and Stricker twice in five tries and outpointed their opponents 65-60 to move into the quarterfinal round. Next, they will face Franko Skugor of Croatia and Fabrice Martin of France, who advanced earlier this week against No. 3 seeds Sander Gille and Jordan Vliegen, both of Belgium.

Also advancing to the doubles quarterfinals were: Robin Haase of the Netherlands and Philip Oswald of Austria, who beat Hugo Nys of Monaco and Jan Zielinski of Poland, 6-4, 6-4; and Italy’s Andrea Vavassori and Lorenzo Sonego defeated Vit Kopriva of the Czech Republic and Patel Kotov of Russia, 6-3, 6-3.

Wednesday’s EFG Swiss Open results

Thursday’s EFG Swiss Open order of play

By the numbers

Casper Ruud is 8-2 in his last 10 matches on clay. Has a 21-7 overall record on the surface this season.

“Quotable …”

“We train as hard as we can in order to be in good shape and be able to compete in these events. All of us in the draw are ready for these kinds of things. If I have to play tomorrow, I play tomorrow. If I have to rest, I rest. My body feels very good.”

– No. 63 Jaume Munar of Spain, during an on-court interview after reaching the Gstaad quarterfinals for the first time.