Schwaerzler Storms Past Landaluce, Reaches Mauthausen Quarterfinals

Joel Schwaerzler against Martin Landaluce (photo: Binder)


Austrian Joel Schwaerzler emerged victorious from the highly expected “battle of the teenagers” against Martin Landaluce of Spain, winning 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals of the Danube Upper Austria Open powered by SKE.

Both players were born in January 2006 and met in the final of the 2022 Under-16 European Championships with the better ending for Schwaerzler. In front of about 600 spectators on a sunny Thursday in Mauthausen, the 18-year-old managed to repeat this success in the second round of the ATP Challenger Tour clay-court event.

In a second-round match between the current Junior World No. 1 against last year’s top-ranked junior, Schwaerzler set the tone early with a more dynamic game style. The local wild card entry sent down three aces and broke Landaluce’s serve four times to succeed in one hour and 18 minutes.

“The match went well. I had a good start, and everything went smoothly. He then gave me a few gifts during the game, which I could take advantage of consistently. “My goal was to play with a lot of pace to his forehand. We knew he had trouble there. That worked out in both sets. It’s my first Challenger at home this year, and it’s really cool,” said Schwaerzler.

“The atmosphere was impressive and made it really enjoyable for me. It makes me want more. I want to stay in the tournament as long as possible this week.”

Kuzmanov outlasts Neumayer

Schwaerzler will next challenge Dimitar Kuzmanov of Bulgaria, rallied past Austrian youngster Lukas Neumayer 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 in one hour and 53 minutes.

“I’m very happy that I made it through this round. Lukas played really well, made no mistakes, and put me under pressure with his aggressive game. So I had to make some changes. I gradually found my rhythm, took my time, and consciously slowed down many things. That helped me, and I got back into the match. Now I’m facing Joel in the quarterfinals. It will be a great challenge, even though I know the crowd will be on his side,” said Kuzmanov, who was also full of praise for the organizers in Mauthausen: “The tournament is fantastic. Superb organization, an incredible facility – a perfect package overall. Such a level is rarely found at Challenger level.”

In other action, Austrian qualifier Gerald Melzer knocked out No. 2 seed Roman Andres Burruchaga of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 and will next play sixth-seeded Slovakian Jozef Kovalik, who defeated Gustavo Heide from Brazil 6-2, 6-1.