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Marc-Andrea Huesler 2022 in Review: Clay Prowess and Deep Runs on the ATP Tour

Marc-Andrea Huesler celebrates victory against Jannik Sinner.

Marc-Andrea Huesler was barely inside the top 200 at the end of the first quarter of 2022, grabbing just two wins in seven events. The 26-year-old has managed to produce a brilliant rise since, breaking the top 100, grabbing his first ATP title, and finishing the year as the 56th highest-ranked player on the planet. How did that happen?

Altitude clay beast

An especially painful loss at the end of March saw the Swiss win just five games against his 16-year-old compatriot Kilian Feldbausch. While the youngster is undeniably talented and produces plenty of easy power on his forehand, Huesler looked completely lost. In April, he chose to appear in three consecutive altitude clay Challengers in Mexico, which completely turned his season around.

These sorts of conditions had always been his forte. Two years ago, he announced himself to a broader public by making the semifinals at the ATP 250 event in Kitzbuhel. He had also previously captured Challenger titles in San Luis Potosi or Sibiu. This time, Huesler was able to grab 235 ranking points in three weeks as he went 13-1 on altitude clay in Mexico, taking titles in Mexico City and Aguascalientes.

Despite running low on fuel in the latter, he was able to win four deciding sets and cap off this part of the season with a title and a big leap in the ATP Rankings (up to 127th). It allowed him to start making more consistent appearances in ATP Tour qualifying events, where he was generally faring quite well. At Wimbledon, he won three consecutive matches to secure his Grand Slam main draw debut, although the loss to Hugo Grenier finished his run on a bit of a sour note.

Huge ATP Tour runs

Huesler debuted in the top 100 after a semifinal appearance in Bastad, but still needed to put in some more good work to solidify his ranking inside the world’s best hundred. In Winston-Salem, he was able to qualify and then produce three big upsets in a row – over Mikael Ymer, Ilya Ivashka (the finalists from the year before), and Jack Draper. While he did end up going down to Laslo Djere in two tie-breaks, this was one of the first signs that Huesler might be there to stay on the ATP Tour.

After the US Open, he topped this achievement by taking his first ATP title in Sofia. The 26-year-old played an absolute blinder against then-World No. 14 Pablo Carreno Busta, before saving two match points versus Kamil Majchrzak (on one of them, he produced an unbelievable forehand squash shot). Two more wins over the talented youngsters in Lorenzo Musetti and Holger Rune followed. Just a couple of months after breaking the top 100, Huesler was already an ATP Tour champion.

Despite getting to the ATP’s main circuit at a somewhat advanced stage of his career, it looks like the 26-year-old won’t be going away that easily. With a high-risk attacking style of play like his, it’s not easy to produce consistent results, which is usually what’s needed to climb the rankings. But once you’re on the ATP Tour, the points at stake are enough that a few deep runs a year are enough to hang around.

We’ll see how Huesler fares in 2023, but one thing is certain – he just doesn’t allow you to grab any rhythm whatsoever, making him a nightmare for top seeds in early rounds. In his last event of the year (Paris Masters), the world #12 Jannik Sinner learned it the hard way.

Main photo:Embed from Getty Images


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