Jean-Julien Rojer and Harri Heliovaara Dominating the Doubles in Helsinki

Jean Julien Rojer

Top-seeded Harri Heliovaara and Jean-Julien Rojer reached the doubles final at the Helsinki Challenger in stunning fashion. The newly-formed duo dropped their serve just once and never gave their opponents more than four games in a single set.

Talking about playing together for the first time, Rojer was very appreciative of his partner – “Henri [Kontinen] gave me his number to reach out to Harri to play. He’s a fabulous player, he’s been doing really well and going up the rankings. He’s been having a great streak of winning matches in both the ATP and the Challenger Tour, so it was quite an easy decision. I know he’s from here, it’s his home club, so that’s very nice. We get some privileges like playing every match on the Center Court, at the same time.”

Rojer hadn’t played in a Challenger since Szczecin 2010, but chose to travel to Helsinki to finish his year at the 2021 HPP Open. “I had a good week in Stockholm, I didn’t have such a successful year, I lost a lot of matches and a lot of ranking. I wanted to come here and try to win more and keep that feeling going. Like I’ve been telling everybody, to me it’s not so important if it’s Challenger or ATP, what I focus on is enjoyment and my time on the court.”, said the 40-year-old, explaining his decision to come back to the Challenger circuit.

Retirement of a friend

The Dutchman had his brightest moments along with 36-year-old Horia Tecau, who retired yesterday at the ATP Finals. “We talked on the phone, they had a celebratory dinner for him, we spoke a little bit before he went there. It’s very difficult also for me. Because we had very good success together, he’s like my brother. Like I tell him, when he retires now, also a part of me is retiring. We talk a lot and we keep in touch.”

Rojer and Tecau formed a great doubles team for seven years, clinching two Grand Slam titles (Wimbledon 2015, US Open 2017), and winning the 2015 edition of the ATP Finals. “He actually told me when he’s done playing now, he has some more time so he’ll come watch me play in some future somewhere. He’ll come watch some matches of mine”, said the 40-year-old who, despite being four years older than his long-time partner, isn’t planning to finish his career yet.

Heliovaara and Rojer will take on Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler in Saturday’s final. The Austrian pair won the ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel this year and is coming off another Challenger final at Ortisei. While the top seeds remain firm favorites, Erler and Miedler might just give them their toughest test yet.

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