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All roads lead to Vienna as the Erste Bank Open kicks off this week. This tournament starts on Monday 23rd October, and will end on 29th October 2023. A total of 32 players will contend with each other at the indoor hard courts of the Wiener Stadthalle, as they set their sights on the Vienna Open title. In this article, we would like to talk about the players who were awarded wild cards into the main event.
What is a wild card in tennis?
While some players receive direct entry into tennis competitions based on merit, there are others who have to participate in the qualifying rounds in order to reach the main draw. However, a few players are specially invited to feature in tennis tournaments when they can’t get through on merit, and these players are called wild cards. In this year’s event, there are three wild cards, and these are:
It’s important to point out that Dominic Thiem is a former Vienna Open Champion. The former US Open champion is the last player to win this tournament on home soil; as he reigned supreme here in 2019.
However, Thiem hasn’t been playing his best tennis in recent years; as his last ATP singles title was at the US Open three years ago. The former World number 3 reached the final of the Austrian Open a couple of months ago, but lost to Sebastian Baez in straight sets.
That said, Dominic Thiem has more losses than wins this year; he also has a tricky first round clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas. Considering he has five wins in his last 10 encounters with Tsitsipas, it’ll be interesting to see how far Thiem will go in this year’s event.
It’s fair to point out that Sebastian Ofner received wild cards into both the singles and doubles events. He has not been very consistent in recent weeks, losing two of his last four matches heading into this competition. Like his compatriot Dominic Thiem, Ofner will have a tough first round opponent in Alexander Zverev; he has two losses in as many encounters with the German player, with both losses coming in straight sets.
Unlike the other two wild cards, Borna Gojo isn’t from Austria. The Croatian player is currently ranked number 77 in the World; he has as many losses as he has wins in his last six matches. Gojo will meet Aslan Karatsev in the first round, a player he defeated at the qualifying rounds of the Lyon Open four years ago.
Frequently asked questions about Vienna Open 2023 wild cards
- How many wild cards are there in this tournament? Like the previous edition of this competition, three players received wild cards into the 2023 Vienna Open.
- What is a wild card in tennis? Wild cards receive special invitations to participate in tennis tournaments when they don’t qualify based on merit.
- How far did the Vienna Open wild cards go last year? Last year wasn’t great for the Vienna Open wild cards, as all three players crashed out of the tournament in the first round.
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