Ritschard To Face Laaksonen For Challenger Hamburg Title

Alexander Ritschard (photo: Witters Sportfotografie)

HAMBURG, October 22, 2022

Alexander Ritschard and Henri Laaksonen will compete in an all-Swiss singles final at the Hamburg Ladies & Gents Cup ATP Challenger 80 tournament on Sunday. Fourth-seeded Ritschard ended the run of French qualifier Matteo Martineau in Saturday’s semis.

The World No. 216 from Zürich withstood 10 aces and broke his rival’s serve five times to secure a 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2 victory in two hours and 17 minutes.

“The courts are very good. I feel comfortable here,” said Ritschard. “Of course, my goal is to win the tournament now.”

Laaksonen defeated Dutch veteran Robin Haase 6-4, 6-4. The fifth favourite struck 12 aces, didn’t face a break point and capitalized on two of his own 10 break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 11 minutes.

I am very happy to reach the final and pleased with my performance today,” said Laaksonen, who served the match out by hitting four aces in a row. “I was serving well right from the first game. I have improved each match. I am feeling better and better. The organisation here is very good and I like the city of Hamburg. It’s nice to be back.”

Ritschard won the only previous meeting with Laaksonen, which took place on indoor carpet at an ITF Pro Circuit event 10 years ago.

“We know each other from the Davis Cup. He is a calm guy but very nice. It will be a good match,” said Ritschard of his compatriot. After finishing runner-up twice, the 28-year-old is still seeking his first Challenger crown. Laaksonen could lift his seventh career trophy, his first of the season.

Huey/Schnur triumph in doubles

Later in the day, Treat Huey from the Philippines and US-American Max Schnur captured the doubles title. The top seeds edged past Dustin Brown of Jamaica and Germany’s Julian Lenz 7-6(6), 6-4 in one hour and 24 minutes.

By winning their first team title, Huey and Schnur split €2,670 in prize money and earned 80 ATP Doubles points.