Schwaerzler Receives Kitzbühel Wild Card

Joel Schwaerzler (photo: Mia Knoll)

KITZBÜHEL, June 7, 2024

The 80th edition of the Generali Open, scheduled from July 20 to 27 in Kitzbühel, will write another chapter in Austrian tennis history. While Dominic Thiem will begin his farewell during the Night Session on Tuesday, July 23, Joel Schwaerzler receives his first main draw wildcard for ATP 250 clay-court event in Tyrol.

“I would say it’s almost part of our DNA to provide a platform for young, aspiring talents at the Generali Open. This has been the case with Sinner, Tsitsipas, Zverev, and especially Dominic Thiem, and of course, it applies to the currently most promising Austrian junior,” explains organizer Martin Bodner. “Even though we’re taking a bit of a risk by awarding the wildcard early, Joel absolutely deserves it,” say organizers Markus Bodner and Herbert Günther.

There are some similarities in their Kitzbühel debuts: Thiem reached the junior final of the French Open in 2011 and shortly after received his first wildcard for the Generali Open – as an almost 18-year-old, he was then ranked World No. 913. The same applies now for Joel Schwaerzler: The young player from Vorarlberg gets his first tournament wildcard also as an 18-year-old, though – after his maiden ATP Challenger title in Skopje, North Macedonia, being ranked World No. 387.

“Joel is Junior World No. 1, has just won his first Challenger. Therefore, we want to give him the opportunity to play on the ATP Tour in Kitzbühel for the first time. We are very excited, and I am sure that Austrian tennis fans will also be thrilled to see Joel live. He is a great promise for the future and is in the best hands with Jürgen Melzer,” explains tournament director Alex Antonitsch.

For Schwaerzler himself, the call from the tournament director before the semifinals in Paris is a great motivation: “A childhood dream is coming true for me. I have often been to Kitzbühel, the atmosphere is great. I hope I can win a match there, and the wildcard motivates me a lot for the semifinals in Paris,” says Schwaerzler, competed in the qualifying of the Generali Open last year but fell in the first round to his compatriot Dennis Novak.