Ritschard Edges Out Squire, Advances At Neckarcup

Henri Squire and Alexander Ritschard (photo: Seventyfour.studio/NECKARCUP)

HEILBRONN, June 7, 2024

The semi-finals of the 2024 NECKARCUP are set. Alexander Ritschard from Switzerland edged out the last German standing in the singles draw of the ATP Challenger Tour 100 event in Heilbronn by beating Henri Squire 6-2, 6-3 on Friday afternoon.

The 30-year-old Zürich native capitalized on five of his 10 break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 17 minutes.

“It was difficult. I have never played him before,” said Ritschard. “He has an aggressive game, the first serve is very dangerous and I just wanted to make as many returns as possible, keeping the ball in play. Now I having a good rest and hope to play another solid match here.”

Ritschard, son of a Swiss father and an US-American mother, is seeking his third career triumph on the ATP Challenger Tour following his wins in Hamburg 2022 and in April this year in Savannah.

Up next for the World No. 184 will be Jan Choinski of Great Britain, who was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Spaniard Alejandro Moro Canas.

Nagal to face van Assche

In other action, No. 3 seed Sumit Nagal defeated Ivan Gakhov of Russia 6-1, 7-6(4). The highest-ranked player left in the singles draw won 58 per cent of the total points played to advance in one hour and 22 minutes.

Nagal will take on fifth favourite Luca van Assche in the stage of the last eight. The 20-year-old Frenchman fought past Polish youngster Maks Kasnikowski 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 after two hours and three minutes.

“I prefer to win in two sets. But it was another tough one today. He played great,” said van Assche, who has now won all of his matches by going the distance.

Van Assche is here in Heilbronn with his Italian coach Vincenzo Santopadre. The two also seem to get along well off the court, as they are often seen playing cards together.

Asked about the better card player, van Assche replied: “He is winning most of the time because it is his game and I needed to learn it. But I am improving. I didn’t win a game in the first two or three months but now I have won three times over the last couple of days.”


Singles –
[3] S. Nagal (IND) d I. Gakhov 61 76(4)
[5] L. Van Assche (FRA) d M. Kasnikowski (POL) 63 36 60
A. Ritschard (SUI) d H. Squire (GER) 62 63
J. Choinski (GBR) d A. Moro Canas (ESP) 63 63

Doubles – Semifinals
R. Arneodo (MON) / G. Blancaneaux (FRA) d [4] L. Martinez (VEN) / C. Rodriguez (COL) 61 62

[1] C. Frantzen (GER) / H. Jebens (GER) vs J. Schnaitter (GER) / M. Wallner (GER)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[5] L. Van Assche (FRA) vs [3] S. Nagal (IND)

Not Before 5:00 pm
A. Ritschard (SUI) vs J. Choinski (GBR)