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Tennis: Debutant Squire surprises at French Open: “Just happy”

Tennis: Debutant Squire surprises at French Open: “Just happy”

Hardly anyone expected Henri Squire in Paris – not even he himself. Having slipped into the qualification at the last minute, the German tennis professional suddenly finds himself in the second round.

The completely surprising success at his Grand Slam debut also comes as a surprise to tennis player Henri Squire himself. “I was just happy to play here. I didn’t really have my hopes up,” said the 23-year-old: “I seized the chance and have made the best of it so far.”

At the French Open in Paris, the Duisburg native only made it into the qualifications an hour before the draw. There, he secured his first ticket to the main draw in one of the four most important tournaments with three wins. In his first ever five-set match against Australian Max Purcell, Squire initially played carefree, but after leading 2-0, he suddenly found himself on the losing track. And in the end, he won the wild duel with changing leads and several rain breaks.

“I have to let it sink in first,” said the debutant, who was able to fend off six match points. The Canadian Félix Auger-Aliassime, seeded 21st, is waiting in the second round. “In the last few months I have found the belief in myself that I can keep up with all the guys and even win,” he told “Tennis Magazine”.

New coach, new momentum

Squire, ranked 221st in the world, who won a Challenger tournament in Hamburg in mid-March, also attributes his upswing to a new coach. Since November he has been coached by former professional Jeremy Jahn, who has a “super influence” on him, “also in terms of playing, strategy and tactics”. They “train hard all the time”, revealed Squire, “and at some point it pays off”.

If he hadn’t found a new coach and had to continue traveling around the world for smaller tournaments on his own, he might have stopped, “because I don’t enjoy it that much,” explained Squire: “I enjoy tennis, but the stuff around it wasn’t so nice.” But in Paris he can’t complain at all – not even financially. Squire received 110,000 euros just for reaching the second round of the Grand Slam tournament on clay.

Source: Stern

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