Henri Laaksonen

Henri Joona Julius Laaksonen (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈhenri ˈlɑːksonen],[2] Swiss Standard German: [ˈhɛnriː ˈlaːksonɛn]; born 31 March 1992) is a Swiss-Finnish tennis player. His highest singles ranking is world No. 93, which he achieved in August 2017, and his highest doubles ranking is world No. 191, achieved in December 2018.

Henri Laaksonen
Laaksonen RGQ19 (1) (48002700743).jpg
Laaksonen at the 2019 French Open
Country (sports) Finland (−2010)
  Switzerland (2011–present)
ResidenceZurich, Switzerland
Born (1992-03-31) 31 March 1992 (age 28)
Lohja, Finland
Height1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Turned pro2009
PlaysRight-handed
(two-handed backhand)
CoachDavid Pultr
Prize moneyUS$ 1,256,060
Singles
Career record36–51 (41.4%) (at ATP Tour level, Grand Slam level, and in Davis Cup)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 93 (7 August 2017)
Current rankingNo. 137 (16 March 2020)[1]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open2R (2019)
French Open2R (2019)
Wimbledon1R (2017)
US Open2R (2019)
Doubles
Career record3–15 (16.7%)
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 191 (24 December 2018)
Current rankingNo. 1,861 (4 November 2019)
Last updated on: 22 March 2020.

When Laaksonen started playing tennis, he represented Finland. Since January 2011, he has represented Switzerland.[3]

Early lifeEdit

Laaksonen's father, Sandro della Piana, is a former Swiss tennis player. His mother is from Finland. His parents separated very early in his life, but he nonetheless kept contact with his father.

He started playing tennis at the age of 3. During his adolescent years he lived in Hyvinkää where he was coached by Pasi Virtanen. At 16, he became European champion for the Under-16s category.

In 2009, he moved to Switzerland to train at the Swiss Tennis National Tennis Center in Bienne.

Davis Cup career and controversyEdit

He was first called to play for Switzerland for the first round against the Czech Republic in 2013 (lost to Berdych). In September 2013, Switzerland played against Ecuador in Neuchâtel for the Davis Cup World Group play-off. Laaksonen was initially called to play with Stanislas Wawrinka, Marco Chiudinelli, and Michael Lammer. However, Laaksonen was excluded from the team following his behaviour during Thursday practice.

Wawrinka commented as follows: "There are very few promising young players [in Switzerland]. Unfortunately, among them, there are some who believe that everything is allowed and everything is granted for free. If Henri is not here today, it is because there are certain things we cannot accept. I also dislike his behaviour. Someone in his age, with his ranking and who has been supported by Swiss Tennis for many years and thinks he can not fully commit to a practice session and even complains about the coach, cannot be part of the team". He went on saying that he "never wants to be on a tennis court with him again".[4] Further to this tie, Wawrinka and Laaksonen never appeared together in a team competition.

Laaksonen was later fined and received a formal warning from the Swiss Tennis Federation. The amount of the fine was never publicly disclosed.[5] Laaksonen never publicly apologized for his bad behavior.

He was then left out from the first round tie of the World Group against Serbia in February 2014, but called back for the second round tie in Geneva against Kazakhstan in April 2014. He replaced Chiudinelli, who had won the doubles in Serbia (partnering Lammer). However, Laaksonen did not play in any of the rubbers as the top players Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka disputed both the singles matches and the doubles. Switzerland won the tie with 3:2.

For the semifinal against Italy in September 2014, Laaksonen was not part of the team. He was replaced by Chiudinelli, coming back to the team after good results on the Challenger Tour. As a sparring partner, the Swiss coach Severin Lüthi called Yann Marti. For the final against France, Chiudinelli and Lammer were nominated. Laaksonen was not considered for this tie.

In 2015, after talks with the team and the captain, Laaksonen was called upon to play in the first round against Belgium in Liège. He won his two singles in five sets against Ruben Bemelmans and local hero Steve Darcis. He took on the leader role for the young team present. In September 2016, Switzerland played against Uzbekistan in Tashkent, in the world-group playoffs. Henri was again the Swiss team leader and secured the winning points. Because of their victory against Uzbekistan, Switzerland remained in the World Group.

For the 2017 Davis Cup World Group, Laaksonen played both singles and doubles in Switzerland's tie with the United States against the high quality opposition of John Isner and the partnership of Steve Johnson and Jack Sock, losing both times. In the World Group Play-offs against Belarus, despite losing his first singles rubber, Laaksonen crucially defeated Dzmitry Zhyrmont with Switzerland behind 2−1 in the tie. They would go on to win the final rubber and remain in the World Group.

Laaksonen opened up Switzerland's 2018 Davis Cup World Group tie against Kazakhstan, losing in four sets. He went on to win both his singles matches in the World Group Play-off tie against Sweden, however these would be the only points Switzerland registered as they were relegated from the World Group.

Laaksonen was again the Swiss number one in the first tie of the newly formatted 2019 Davis Cup, with Switzerland playing Russia on February 1 and 2, 2019 in the Qualifying Round, at the Swiss Tennis Arena in Biel. Even though his opponents Karen Khachanov, ranked 11 on the ATP Rankings and Daniil Medvedev, ranked 16, were over 130 places above him, Laaksonen pushed both players to three sets. Laaksonen was victorious in the doubles together with the youngest player to ever play for Switzerland in the Davis Cup, Jérôme Kym. Switzerland eventually lost the tie 1–3 and will play Slovakia in September.

Laaksonen lost both his singles against lower ranked Slovakian players and his doubles match with youngster Jérôme Kim. Due to this performance, Switzerland was relegated to the second division.

Away against Peru in Lima, “Team leader” Henri Laaksonen once again lost his decisive rubber against a low-ranked player with a demotivated attitude, causing Switzerland's relegation to Group II, the third level of world's tennis. Serious questions started to come up regarding the financial support received by this player from the Swiss federation, despite the absence of any results over years and the fact that his nominations on the team prevent younger players (Bellier, Nikles) from getting a real chance to express their qualities on the court.

Performance timelinesEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A P Z# PO G F-S SF-B NMS NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (P) postponed; (Z#) Davis/Fed Cup Zonal Group (with number indication) or (PO) play-off; (G) gold, (F-S) silver or (SF-B) bronze Olympic medal; a (NMS) downgraded Masters Series/1000 tournament; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

SinglesEdit

Current through the 2019 Swiss Indoors.

Finland Switzerland
Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open A A A A A Q1 A Q1 Q1 Q1 2R Q1 0 / 1 1–1
French Open A A A A A Q1 A Q2 Q1 Q2 2R 0 / 1 1–1
Wimbledon A A A A Q2 Q1 A Q1 1R Q2 Q1 NH 0 / 1 0–1
US Open A A A A Q1 A A Q3 1R Q1 2R 0 / 2 1–2
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–2 0–0 3–3 0–0 0 / 5 3–5
National representation
Davis Cup Z2 A A A 1R A 1R 1R 1R 1R QR 0 / 5 9–10
ATP World Tour Masters 1000
Indian Wells Masters A A A A A A A A 2R Q1 Q1 P 0 / 1 1–1
Miami Open A A A A A A A A Q1 Q1 Q1 P 0 / 0 0–0
Monte-Carlo Masters A A A A A A A A A A A P 0 / 0 0–0
Madrid Open A A A A A A A A A A A P 0 / 0 0–0
Italian Open A A A A A A A A A A A P 0 / 0 0–0
Canadian Open A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Cincinnati Masters A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Shanghai Masters A A A A A A A A Q2 A A 0 / 0 0–0
Paris Masters A A A A A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–1 0–0 0–0 0 / 1 1–1
Career statistics
Tournaments 0 0 0 2 4 3 2 4 10 4 8 3 Career total: 40
Overall Win–Loss 1–0 0–0 0–0 0–2 3–5 1–3 3–2 3–6 11–12 7–5 6–12 1–4 0 / 40 36–51
Year-end ranking 1386 1202 588 291 244 318 181 136 121 169 $1,256,060

ATP Challenger and ITF Futures finalsEdit

Singles: 14 (7–7)Edit

Legend
ATP Challenger (5–1)
ITF Futures (2–6)
Finals by surface
Hard (5–4)
Clay (1–2)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (1–1)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Jan 2011 Israel F1, Eilat Futures Hard   Valery Rudnev 3–6, 1–6
Loss 0–2 Oct 2011 Kuwait F2, Meshref Futures Hard   Julien Dubail 3–6, 6–4, 4–6
Loss 0–3 Mar 2012 Switzerland F1, Taverne Futures Carpet (i)   Moritz Baumann 4–6, 6–4, 4–6
Loss 0–4 Sep 2012 Portugal F4, Espinho Futures Clay   Jiří Veselý 2–6, 4–6
Loss 0–5 Sep 2012 Portugal F5, Porto Futures Clay   Marc Giner 6–7(6–8), 2–6
Win 1–5 Mar 2014 Switzerland F1, Taverne Futures Carpet (i)   Tim Pütz 4–6, 6–4, 7–6(8–6)
Win 2–5 Nov 2015 Champaign, USA Challenger Hard (i)   Taylor Fritz 4–6, 6–2, 6–2
Win 3–5 Nov 2015 USA F34, Waco Futures Hard (i)   Sekou Bangoura 6–3, 4–6, 6–1
Loss 3–6 Mar 2016 USA F11, Calabasas Futures Hard   Matthew Barton 6–7(6–8), 3–6
Win 4–6 Sep 2016 Shanghai, China, P.R. Challenger Hard   Jason Jung 6–3, 6–3
Win 5–6 Nov 2016 Champaign, USA Challenger Hard (i)   Ruben Bemelmans 7–5, 6–3
Loss 5–7 Aug 2018 Chengdu, China, P.R. Challenger Hard   Zhang Ze 6–2, 2–5 ret.
Win 6–7 Feb 2019 Bangkok, Thailand Challenger Hard   Dudi Sela 6–2, 6–4
Win 7–7 May 2019 Rome, Italy Challenger Clay   Gian Marco Moroni 6–7(2–7), 7–6(7–2), 6–2

Doubles: 12 (4–8)Edit

Legend
ATP Challenger (2–3)
ITF Futures (2–5)
Finals by surface
Hard (1–3)
Clay (1–3)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (2–2)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Partner Opponents Score
Win 1–0 Mar 2009 Switzerland F2, Greifensee Futures Carpet (i)   Philipp Oswald   Dustin Brown
  Alexander Sadecky
6–1, 6–4
Loss 1–1 Aug 2009 Geneva, Switzerland Challenger Clay   Philipp Oswald   Diego Álvarez
  Juan-Martín Aranguren
4–6, 6–4, [2–10]
Loss 1–2 Oct 2011 Kuwait F2, Meshref Futures Hard   Luca Margaroli   Florian Fallert
  Nils Langer
4–6, 6–7(6–8)
Loss 1–3 Sep 2012 Portugal F4, Espinho Futures Clay   Fede Valsangiacomo   Stephan Fransen
  Wesley Koolhof
5–7, 2–6
Loss 1–4 Mar 2014 Switzerland F1, Taverne Futures Carpet (i)   Laurynas Grigelis   Jesper Brunström
  Frederik Nielsen
4–6, 6–7(4–7)
Win 2–4 Mar 2014 Switzerland F2, Trimbach Futures Carpet (i)   Luca Margaroli   Denis Matsukevitch
  Matteo Volante
6–2, 6–2
Loss 2–5 Jan 2015 Germany F1, Schwieberdingen Futures Carpet (i)   Victor Vlad Cornea   Fabian Fallert
  Florian Fallert
4–6, 3–6
Loss 2–6 Mar 2016 USA F11, Calabasas Futures Hard   Marek Michalička   Nicolas Meister
  Eric Quigley
6–4, 2–6, [3–10]
Loss 2–7 Jul 2018 Marburg, Germany Challenger Clay   Luca Margaroli   Fabrício Neis
  David Vega Hernández
6–4, 4–6, [8–10]
Win 3–7 Jul 2018 Båstad, Sweden Challenger Clay   Harri Heliövaara   Zdeněk Kolář
  Gonçalo Oliveira
6–4, 6–3
Loss 3–8 Oct 2018 Fairfield, USA Challenger Hard   Harri Heliövaara   Sanchai Ratiwatana
  Christopher Rungkat
0–6, 6–7(9–11)
Win 4–8 Nov 2018 Charlottesville, USA Challenger Hard (i)   Harri Heliövaara   Toshihide Matsui
  Frederik Nielsen
6–3, 6–4

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ ATP Rankings
  2. ^ "The pronunciation by Henri Laaksonen himself". ATPWorldTour.com. Retrieved 2018-01-09.
  3. ^ "Henri Laaksonen siirtyy edustamaan Sveitsiä". tennis.fi. Suomen Tennisliitto. Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  4. ^ 20 min:http://www.20min.ch/ro/sports/tennis/story/11538253; Blick: http://www.blick.ch/sport/tennis/eklat-im-schweizer-davis-cup-team-id2440587.html
  5. ^ http://www.blick.ch/sport/tennis/busse-und-verwarnung-fuer-henri-laaksonen-id2452937.html

External linksEdit