Seeds finally bloom in Gstaad
Order returned to the Swiss Open tennis tournament in Gstaad on Wednesday, following a traumatic Tuesday for homegrown favourites and international stars.
With three seeded players and five of the six Swiss representatives already out in the opening round, the Gstaad organisers must have been relieved to see three top players safely book their places in the quarter-finals.
Argentina’s Franco Squillari was the first man into the last eight. The number six seed followed up his first round win over Switzerland’s George Bastl with a second round victory (4-6, 6-4, 6-2) over 1996 Swiss Open champion Alberto Martin.
In the quarter-finals, Squillari will face world number seven, Sebastien Grosjean. The Frenchman also had to come from behind to win his second round match against talented Ecuadorian Nicolas Lapentti.
Having lost the opening set 4-6, Grosjean won the second 6-4 but then needed a tie-break to complete his 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) victory.
Spanish second seed Juan Carlos Ferrero claimed his second French victim of the tournament on Wednesday to join Squillari and Grosjean in the quarters. After disposing of Arnaud Di Pasquale on Tuesday, Ferrero recovered from an early break against his serve to beat Julien Boutter in straight sets, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.
In the last eight, Ferrero will meet yet another French opponent this time in the form of Cedric Pioline. On Wednesday the world number 72 overcame Spain’s Francisco Clavet 7-6, 6-7, 6-1.
Switzerland’s only remaining representative in the singles competition, Michel Kratochvil, had a day off on Wednesday. The 22-year-old from Bern is scheduled to play his second round match on Thursday against Spain’s Juan Balcells.
The Barcelona clay court specialist appears to be in good form at the moment, having pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far on Tuesday when he beat top seeded Russian Marat Safin in the first round.
by Mark Ledsom, Gstaad
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