Schwaerzler Soars Into Second Round In Mauthausen

Joel Schwaerzler (photo: Brigitte Urban)


Austrian youngsters Joel Schwaerzler and Lukas Neumayer have both enjoyed a successful start into the Danube Upper Austria Open powered by SKE. Junior World No. 1 Schwaerzler, who entered the main draw of the €120,950 ATP Challenger Tour clay-court event in Mauthausen, Austria with a wild card, defeated German qualifier Mats Rosenkranz 7-6(1), 6-4 in Tuesday’s first round.

The pressure and expectations were high, and the nervousness beforehand was palpable. However, Schwaerzler showed no signs of being affected by this on Center Court and had a perfect start. After an even first set, the Vorarlberg native kept his composure in the tie-break and secured the first set. After breaking early in the second set, the 18-year-old fought back and showed many precise shots. In the end, Schwaerzler secured victory in one hour and 33 minutes.

“The relief is immense,” said Schwaerzler. “Mats is a similar player type of player. He also takes a lot of risks. There were few long rallies, so it was difficult to find a rhythm. Of course, there is more pressure at home, but I see it in a positive way. What mattered was that I stayed calm in the crucial moments and maintained my level. I have a lot planned for the week. I feel very comfortable here, and I believe in myself. The key is that I have to play well.” 

The World No. 792 will next take on Martin Landaluce of Spain.

Neumayer benefited from the retirement of Canadian Gabriel Diallo. The 21-year-old Salzburg native was leading 4-6, 7-5, 4-2 when Diallo was forced to stop playing due to an abdominal injury. Up next for Neumayer will be Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria, who beat Egyptian qualifier Mohamed Safwat 6-3, 6-2.

Argentines prevail

In other action, the tournament’s top two seeds from Argentina also booked their spots in the second round. No. 1 seed Francisco Comesana defeated Joris de Loore of Belgium 6-3, 6-3 and will next play his compatriot Juan Manuel Cerundolo.

Second favourite Roman Andres Burruchaga fought past Elias Ymer of Sweden 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 and awaits Austrian qualifier Gerald Melzer in the next round.