STARNBERG, June 3, 2018
About eight weeks before the start of the Generali Open in Kitzbühel, tournament director Alexander Antonitsch announced via Austria Presse Agentur that Spaniard Fernando Verdasco and Frenchman Richard Gasquet will join Austria’s top-player Dominic Thiem in the ATP 250 clay-court event, held from 30 July to 4 August 2018.
Verdasco made it to the round of 16 at Roland Garros, where he will face Novak Djokovic. The 34-year-old from Madrid finished runner-up to Diego Schwartzman in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year and will return to Kitzbühel for the seventh time, for the first time in five years. His best performance so far came by reaching the final in 2005. He also made it twice into the stage of the final four. Gasquet, who lost to Rafael Nadal in the third round in Paris, will appear in Tyrol for the first time
The advance ticket sale is running excellently. “For the days from Thursday to Saturday, there are only few tickets left,” Antonitsch told. The tournament director, who has held this office since April 2011, would like to wait a little longer with the award of the two available wild cards. Primarily, he wants to ensure that – next to Thiem – another Austrian player can enter the main draw.
“Currently every other local player will probably need a wild card,” said Antonitsch, who expects that the “cut off” will be around World No. 70 to 75.