ZUG, July 28, 2022
Home favourite Alexander Ritschard headlined Thursday’s second-round action at the Finaport Zug Open by reaching the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger Tour 125 clay-court tournament. The 28-year-old Swiss defeated Thiago Agustin Thirante of Argentina 7-6(4), 6-4 on a sunny and hot day in Zug.
Ritschard withstood 14 aces and broke his South American rival one time to secure victory in one hour and 39 minutes.
“I served very well today,” Ritschard told Tennis TourTalk afterward. “This helped me to stay in the match, as he had a very powerful serve today. It’s a fast clay court here, which can be very slippery but conditions seem to suit my game.
“It is very nice venue here. Everything is fine, I feel very comfortable. The more tournaments we have here in Switzerland, the better it is.”
The World No. 178, currently sitting on a career-high, qualified for his first Grand Slam main draw at Wimbledon this year. Ritschard fell to Stefanos Tsitispas in the first round in four sets. “It was a great experience. Playing against the World No. 5 on Court 1, that’s when a dream came true. Hopefully next time I will win.”
In the stage of the final eight in Zug, the Zürich native will take on either his compatriot Dominic Stricker or Frenchman Harold Mayot. Their final match of the day was suspended due to rain with the Swiss youngster leading 6-3, 1-3.
Novak defeats Marterer
Earlier in the day, Dennis Novak defeated German lefty Maximilian Marterer 6-2, 6-4. The World No. 166 from Austria struck six aces and won 77 per cent of his first-service points to advance in one hour and 14 minutes.
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“I was more solid than my opponent today,” Novak told Tennis TourTalk. “I didn’t make many mistakes and didn’t face a break point. The conditions here are pretty fast. This is something I like. It is a very nice tournament with super nice people. Many spectators attend the matches and the atmosphere is great.”
The 28-year-old from Wiener Neustadt will next take on Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who fought past French qualifier Ugo Blanchet 6-4, 7-6(4). The encounter lasted one hour and 56 minutes.