Swiss junior: 'Roger Federer means a lot to me, I like his attitude towards sport'

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Swiss junior: 'Roger Federer means a lot to me, I like his attitude towards sport'

All born in 2002, there are three Swiss players ranked in the top-15 of the ITF boys ranking list. Inspired by Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Stephan Stricker, Leandro Riedi and Jeffrey Von Der Schulenburg have been the youngsters to watch from this small tennis nation, dreaming about lifting notable trophies like their older compatriots in the previous two decades.

Stricker and Riedi are through to the semi-final of the junior Roland Garros, moving two wins away from the all-Swiss title match in Paris. Competing in his first junior tournament since the Australian Open, Dominic Stephan Stricker is yet to lose a set in Paris, beating four rivals in straight sets and hoping for more of the same against the Argentine Juan Bautista Torres in the semis.

In the quarters, the Swiss took down Lukas Neumayer 6-3, 6-3 in 70 minutes. Struggling to find the first serve, the Swiss did everything right to defend the initial shot, fending off five out of seven break chances and stealing half of the return points to grab five breaks from 12 opportunities.

Dominic Stephan Stricker practiced with Roger Federer in January.

Trailing 3-2 in the opener, Dominic Stephen rattled off four straight games, delivering breaks in games seven and nine to claim the opener 6-3. They traded breaks early in the second set and again in games five and six to stay neck and neck before the Swiss shifted into a higher gear to seal the deal in straight sets.

Like in the opener, he won four consecutive games from 2-3, crossing the finish line and hoping to become the first junior Roland Garros champion from Switzerland since Stan Wawrinka 17 years ago. Dominic Stephan had the opportunity to practice with Roger Federer at the beginning of the season, learning a lot from the 20-time Major champion and praising his attitude towards the sport.

This year, Roger is not in Paris, suffering a knee injury and undergoing two surgeries in February and May, playing only one tournament in 2020 and hoping to return in January 2021. "I felt pretty good from the start, I tried to play my game, and I think I did it pretty well.

I think he was pretty nervous at the start, and I could use it. The first set was quite good, and the second set was pretty close; we both had our chances, but I could win it. Roger Federer means a lot to me. It's great to see how he 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," Dominic Stephan Stricker said.