The hope of Swiss tennis after Roger Federer

Marc-Andrea Hüsler clenches his fist: the 26-year-old has big goals.Bild: www.imago-images.de

After Roger Federer’s resignation, all tennis in Switzerland has wondered: what next? A few days later, the answer seems to have been found: Marc-Andrea Hüsler.

04.10.2022, 14:3704.10.2022, 15:31

Moritz Meister

It has been two years since Marc-Andrea Hüsler reinvented himself as a tennis player. «I understood what the game I win must be like. I am the rider, I have to decide what is happening on the pitch. ”It was September 2020 in Kitzbühel.

Two years later, the driver reached a new milestone that only Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer had achieved in this millennium: he won an ATP tournament as a Swiss. In the Sofia final, Hüsler defeated the Norwegian Rune and consolidated his place among the top 100 tennis players in the world.

Kitzbühel two years ago became a tournament where he reinvented himself as a driver, just like he did then daily indicator reported. At that moment he rushed – with some disappointments in his luggage – to the semifinals. He has won a total of five games, four of which against the top 100 players, including the one against Italian seeded Fabio Fognini, then ATP number 12 in the world. Fognini was back on tour after a foot injury and was really put on display by Hüsler: the result was 6: 1, 6: 2.

“I will never be a player who wins thanks to his defensive skills,” he said after the tournament. Now the pilot has flown into a new sphere. How did this come about?

2016 Beginning of professional career

After graduating from high school, the Zurich-born decided to play tennis professionally. At the beginning of his professional career, he still had problems establishing himself against the competition of his peer age. But through professional training and more tournament experience, he was able to quickly improve his level.

2018 Training with Federer in Dubai

In April 2018, Hüsler and Jakub Paul were invited to Dubai by Roger Federer for two weeks. “It was very nice. We could train as often as we wanted. It was impressive to see how Federer trains. On the one hand you can see that you can play the game, on the other you can see how much is still missing from the summit, “Hüsler told” Blick “at that time. Already in autumn 2017 he was allowed to complete a training session with Federer as part of the Swiss Indoors in Basel.

First ATP victory in Gstaad 2018

Thanks to a wild card, then 22-year-old Hüsler was cleared to take part in the Swiss Open in Gstaad in 2018. There he scored a three-set win over veteran and former Spanish top 10 player Nicolas Almagro on his ATP debut.

Davis Cup debut against Kazakhstan

After his win over Almagro, Hüsler made his first Davis Cup appearance that same year. For him, his childhood dream came true: “Even as a child I sat in front of the television and watched Switzerland play the Davis Cup.”

“Since I was a child I used to sit in front of the television and watch Switzerland play the Davis Cup.”

First 2019 Challenger title in Mexico

Despite the unfavorable conditions and without baggage, Marc-Andrea Hüsler managed to prevail at the Challenger tournament in Mexico. In the final he defeated the Spanish favorite Adrian Menéndez and thus jumped for the first time among the top 300 in the world rankings.

“The conditions were certainly not ideal”.

The Kitzbühel tournament

Then in the 2020 Kitzbühel tournament, more by accident, Hüsler went to the 250K ATP tournament by accident. Since he failed to qualify for the Challenger tournament in Prostejov (Czech Republic), he competes in Austria. In retrospect, this turns out to be a real stroke of luck.

Hüsler grows stronger from game to game and manages to impose his game on his opponents. Who lives above all on his dominant serve game. He in turn eliminates five of the top 100 players. He takes Fognini out of the tournament in less than an hour. Until the end of the semifinal against the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

Further victories in Monaco and Mexico City

Hüsler then manages to give some consistency to his game. He wins the Challenger tournaments in Monaco and Mexico City. With the victory in Munich, Hüsler climbed to 148th place in the world rankings.

2022 Entered the top 100 of the ATP world rankings

2022 is expected to be the most successful year so far for the 26-year-old. First he made it to the semi-finals of the Winston-Salem ATP tournament in August. As a result, he improved his ranking to 85th and entered the world’s top 100 for the first time.

Win his first ATP title in Sofia

Hüsler achieved his biggest career success to date in Sofia at the end of September. In the final he defeated Danish favorite Holger Rune (ATP 31). With this victory, he is now in 64th place in the ATP world rankings. In an interview with “20 minutes”, he revealed that he had received congratulatory messages from “I don’t even know” people.

Federer was also feverish. “I heard Federer watched the game with his kids and was excited in front of the TV,” revealed Hüsler from Zurich.

“I heard Federer watched the game with his kids and was excited in front of the TV.”

With the win in Sofia, the 1.96-meter-tall southpaw became the third Swiss player to win an ATP tournament in the 21st century. The other two are Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. Hüsler is also the first winner of a Swiss tournament since Roger Federer in Basel in 2019.

goals for the future

Even in the days following his victory, Hüsler still has to elaborate on what happened. However, he is already looking forward again. “The next goal is a victory in a Grand Slam field”, he reveals in an interview with “SRF”.