Tennis: Schwärzler won first Challenger title in Skopje with 18

Tennis: Schwärzler won first Challenger title in Skopje with 18

Joel Schwärzler

The 18-year-old from Vorarlberg, who has been number one in the junior world rankings since January, defeated the ten-year-older Czech Kamil Majchrzak 6:3,6:3 in the final of the ATP Challenger in Skopje on Saturday, thus picking up the winner’s check in only his eighth tournament at this level.

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For Schwärzler, this means a huge jump in the ATP rankings. The youngster, a protégé of ÖTV sports director Jürgen Melzer, has improved from position 664 into the top 400 and is expected to appear around position 387. Schwärzler, who was born on January 27, 2006 in Sandton near Johannesburg (RSA) to an Austrian father and a South African mother, and who speaks Afrikaans as well as German and English, was safe in his first final against number 351. After 81 minutes, he converted his fourth match point.

Schwärzler had already collected big points by reaching the quarter-finals of the Challengers in Tallahassee (Florida) and Mauthausen, but the 75 from Skopje topped everything he had achieved so far. Schwärzler, who trains in the southern part of the city, can also look forward to a check for 10,200 euros.

He may soon have to adjust his goal, as he wanted to be in the top 350 by the end of 2024. The left-hander has almost achieved that now. Incidentally, he will return to junior level the week after next, as he wants to compete in the French Open – where his clear goal is to win the title.

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Source: Nachrichten

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