Switzerland have enjoyed plenty of success in the tennis world recently thanks to the Grand Slam exploits of Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Martina Hingis. Besides these, there have also been several other Swiss players who have reached the higher echelons of the sport such as Marc Rosset, Patty Schnyder, Timea Bacsinszky and Belinda Bencic (at 23, Bencic could still be a potential Slam winner in the future).
Following in those footsteps, two young Swiss players are making their presence felt at the junior event at Roland Garros this fortnight. Dominic Stricker and Leandro Riedi are through to the semifinals of the Roland Garros boys' singles event, and could face off in the final.
18-year-old Stricker, seeded No. 7, has reached his first ever junior Grand Slam semifinal after beating Austrian Lukas Neumayer in straight sets on Thursday. Meanwhile Riedi, the No. 8 seed, defeated Argentine Alex Barrena 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 in his quarterfinal match.
Stricker will play Juan Bautista Torres in the semifinals while Riedi will meet Dutch player Guy Den Ouden.
Ahead of the last four clash, Stricker talked about his approach to the big game, while also revealing that he takes inspiration from Roger Federer.
It is great to have champions like Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka from the same country: Dominic Stricker
Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, has had a few practice sessions with Stricker. The most recent of those came in January this year.
“He means pretty much (a lot) to me,” Stricker told the Roland Garros website. “It’s great to see how Roger Federer is playing and how his attitude is towards the sport. To have someone like him in the same country, and also to have Stan [Wawrinka], to have two of the greatest players, is great.”
Stricker seems to have a steady head on his shoulders, and he acknowledged that winning the title was unlikely to be easy.
"It’s going to be hard for sure, there will be two hard matches. We will see how it’s going to go, but I will do my best to win it,” he said.
Had Roger Federer been playing in Paris this fortnight, he would have likely been cheering on his compatriots and perhaps even giving them some advice. But the Swiss legend is currently recuperating from a knee injury for which he has undergone surgery twice this year; Federer plans to return to the tour only in 2021.
Without the likes of Federer and Wawrinka on the final weekend, Swiss hopes of a title from Roland Garros this year will rest on the shoulders of the two talented teens.Published 09 Oct 2020, 16:22 IST