ZUG, July 27, 2022
Following the tournaments in Biel and Lugano, the ATP Challenger Tour has returned to Switzerland for the third time this season. The inaugural Finaport Zug Open is being held this week at the Tennis Club Zug, offering a total prize money of €134,920.
Zug, nestled in a charming lakeside landscape, is the largest town and capital of the Swiss canton of Zug. Its name originates from the fishing vocabulary; in the Middle Ages it referred to the right to pull up fishing nets and hence to the right to fish. The Zuger Chriesi (Zug cherries) is the ultimate symbol of the city with about 32,000 inhabitants. They have been the traditional fruit since they were brought here more than 600 years ago.
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Three home favourites have made it into the second round of the outdoor clay-court event led by top seed Marc-Andrea Huesler. The World No. 96, a winner of five ATP Challenger crowns, was back in action Wednesday afternoon when he beat Santiago Rodriguez Taverna of Argentina 7-5, 6-1. Huesler struck four aces, saved both break points he faced and converted four of his own seven break-point chances to advance to the quarterfinals after one hour and 16 minutes.
“The serve made the difference, I always try to play aggressively and dominated many rallies with my forehand. I felt very comfortable on the court,” Huesler told Tennis TourTalk afterward.
“It’s very nice here. This is a normal tennis club here and they did a great job in organizing this big event, which is not easy in difficult times. The atmosphere was excellent and it’s also good to play on the Conipur clay courts,” the 26-year-old from Zürich said.
“When I started my career on the Pro Tour I played only played Futures in Switzerland, because there were no Challengers here. Now, many good Swiss players are coming up and consequently more tournaments are take place. It’s great to play in front of your family and friends, also enjoying the home advantage.”
An out of this world experience 🌍🚀
— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) July 27, 2022
Does he feel any pressure being the top-ranked player on home soil this week? “Pressure is a privilege,” Huesler responded. “You only feel pressure when you have worked hard for it. That’s why you’re a favourite but at these tournaments matches are very close and anyone can beat anyone. A lot depend on your daily performance … At the beginning of the year my goal was to crack Top 120, which I have already achieved. Next, it’s to establish myself in the Top 100 and to play the main draws of the majors.”
Huesler, who made his Grand Slam main draw debut at Wimbledon this year, will try to continue his fine run of form in Zug against Geoffrey Blancaneaux. The 23-year-old Frenchman beat Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes.
In other action, Lorenzo Giustino caused the upset of the day by knocking out No. 3 seed Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-6(5). The Italian qualifier withstood eight aces and broke the big-serving German’s serve two times to prevail after one hour and 35 minutes. Giustino will next challenge Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria, who battled past Finnish lucky loser Otto Virtanen 6-1, 6-7(2), 7-6(6). The encounter lasted two hours and 48 minutes.
Swiss stars Dominic Stricker (against Harold Mayot) and Alexander Ritschard (against Thiago Tirante) will play their second-round matches on Thursday.