Stricker Stuns Ruud In Basel, Dents Norwegian's Turin Hopes

  • Posted: Oct 26, 2023

Stricker Stuns Ruud In Basel, Dents Norwegian’s Turin Hopes

Shevchenko Saves All 15 Break Points, 2 MPs, To Upset Fritz

The best season of #NextGenATP Swiss Dominic Stricker’s career got even better on Thursday. The lefty upset second seed Casper Ruud 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1) for a place in the Swiss Indoors Basel quarter-finals, denting the Norwegian’s Nitto ATP Finals hopes.

“Great feeling first of all to win that match, a tough battle out here,” Stricker said in his on-court interview. “Had some tough moments end of the second set and start of the third, but felt really good throughout the whole match and now just super happy. Played an unbelievable tie-break, so I’m just so happy to be through.”

After a run to the fourth round of the US Open, which included a victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas, Stricker lost six consecutive matches. But the 21-year-old has bounced back at his home ATP 500, advancing to the last eight for the first time.

Stricker hit 13 aces and 31 forehand winners in the match. He converted just one of 12 break points he earned, but played a nearly flawless tie-break in the third set to thrill his home fans.

A 2022 Next Gen ATP Finals competitor, he is currently sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Jeddah. Stricker will try to reach his first tour-level semi-final outside of the 21-and-under event when he faces Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

Alexander Shevchenko earned his career-best win Thursday when he saved two match points to upset World No. 9 Taylor Fritz at the Swiss Indoors Basel.

The 22-year-old overcame Fritz 6-7(7), 7-6(6), 7-6(5) after two hours, 53 minutes to earn his first Top 10 victory and book a ticket into his maiden tour-level quarter-final.

Shevchenko produced high quality first-strike tennis and fought off all 15 break points faced to survive the American, who struck 61 winners. Neither player broke serve all match, with Shevchenko fending off eight break points in the second set and seven more in the decider. The qualifier Shevchenko also saved three of four break points to down Stan Wawrinka in the opening round of the ATP 500 event.

Despite squandering a 6/1 lead in the opening-set tie-break against Fritz, Shevchenko stayed focussed and displayed his all-court game, including several deft drop shots to dispatch the third seed.

Shevchenko again held his nerve when he fought off two match points on serve at 5-6 in the third set.

The result is a blow to Fritz’s hopes for a second consecutive appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals. With less than three weeks remaining until the prestigious year-end event, the American, who is ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, is aiming to leapfrog Holger Rune for the crucial eighth position.

Shevchenko, who is at a career-high No. 63 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, will next meet sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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