Swiss teenager Dominic Stricker came up a winner in his ATP debut, laying the groundwork for the injury return of Roger Federer on Tuesday at the ATP Geneva event.

The 18-year-old French Open junior singles and doubles champion last October,  playing on a wild card, upset 2014 US Open winner Marin Cilic 7-6(5), 6-1, taking 78 minutes.

The stage was by the 18-year-old potential heir-apparent for Federer’s third match in  15 months after two knee procedures in 2020 and a long and thorough rehab period.

The 419th-ranked Stricker was somehow passed over for a Roland Garros wild card by French organisers despite his winning record just months ago in Paris.

The young left-hander fired nine aces against Cilic while breaking the 32-year-old Croat four times.

Stricker fought from 4-1 down in the opening-set tiebreaker and dominated the second set against the No. 46 who once reached third in the rankings.

Stricker will play for the quarter-finals against Marton Fucsovics, who beat Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 7-5, 7-5.


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