Stricker’s Surge: Swiss Earns Fifth Challenger Title
Making Swiss tennis history isn’t easy.
After all, 20-time major champion Roger Federer and former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka have etched their names into almost every record book for their home country.
But Dominic Stricker managed to carve out a niche place in the record books by winning last week’s ATP Challenger Tour event in Prague. The lefty is the only Swiss player to win five Challenger titles before his 21st birthday.
The #NextGenATP star defeated Sebastian Ofner in the final 7-6(7), 6-3 to capture the Advantage Cars Prague Open by Moneta. In the first-set tie-break, the 20-year-old Stricker fought back from 2/6 and saved five set points.
Stricker, who also claimed the Rovereto Challenger in February, climbs to No. 115 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, just four spots shy of tying his career-high.
In 2022, the former junior World No. 3 enjoyed a semi-final run at the Next Gen ATP Finals. Stricker is eligible for the 21-and-under event again this year and is currently seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Next Gen Race.
In other Challenger Tour action, Jordan Thompson dropped just one set all week en route to triumphing at the Gwangju Open Challenger. The 29-year-old downed countryman Max Purcell 6-3, 6-2 in the final to capture his 11th Challenger title.
Jordan Thompson is crowned champion at the Challenger 75 event in Gwangju. Credit: Hwang Seojin
Purcell, 25, has competed in five Challenger finals this year, winning three of them. The Sydney native holds an early season-leading 30-6 Challenger-level match record.
In Coquimbo, Chile, Matheus Pucinelli De Almeida earned his maiden Challenger title after surviving a three-hour, 26-minute clash against Joao Lucas Reis Da Silva in the final.
But the 22-year-old Pucinelli De Almeida held his nerve to win 7-6(1), 6-7(4), 6-4 and claim the Challenger Dove Men+Care Coquimbo. En route to the title, the Brazilian ousted two of the top four seeds; Thiago Seyboth Wild and Francisco Comesana.
At the Challenger 175 events, Andy Murray returned to the winners’ circle for the first time since 2019 at the Open Aix Provence Credit Agricole, where the Scot rallied to beat Tommy Paul 2-6, 6-1, 6-2. In Cagliari, Ugo Humbert downed Laslo Djere 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 to collect the Sardegna Open title.