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Swiss Open commandeers more courts to get play back on track

Wet weather has played havoc with schedule in Gstaad Keystone

Organisers of the rain-threatened Swiss Open tennis tournament in Gstaad have decided to make use of two extra clay courts at the town's sports centre in an effort to get the schedule back on track.

A total of four outside courts will be available for play, both in singles and doubles, should the rain stay off long enough. The contingency plans have been introduced after bad weather washed out virtually the entire programme on Monday and Tuesday.

Tuesday at least saw the completion of qualifying for the men’s singles, although Switzerland’s Marco Chiudinelli may wish the rain had kept falling. The 19-year-old from Basel failed to make it into the first round proper after suffering a narrow defeat (7-6, 2-6, 6-7) to Argentina’s Lucas Arnold.

Chiudinelli put up a brave fight before losing the final set on a tie-break. If he had gone through, Switzerland would have had a record six players in the tournament.

Arnold will now face another Swiss, George Bastl, in the first round of the tournament.

In other play on Tuesday, only two first round matches were completed. Felix Mantilla, who won in Gstaad three years ago, eased past fellow Spaniard Fernando Vicente, 6-1, 6-4. Eighth-seeded Mariano Puerto of Argentina is also through to the second round after beating France’s Arnaud di Pasquale 6-3, 6-4.

If Wednesday sees clearer skies, four Swiss players could finally see some action on the show courts. Roger Federer is due to meet the tournament’s number one seed, Alex Corretja, on centre court. After that, Geneva’s Marc Rosset should finally get the chance to test himself against the young Bernese talent, Michel Kratochvil, a wildcard entry at Gstaad this year.

Switzerland’s other wild card, Ivo Heuberger, is scheduled to play on number one court against France’s Sébastien Grosjean.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR