The draw for the 2019 Vienna Classics has been made with World No.1 Christine Seehofer leading the field.
Seehofer, who last lost a singles match in April 2016, returns to the tournament looking to win a fourth straight Vienna Classics. She is joined in the Women’s A by World No.3 Bettina Bugl and her sister Elisabeth Seehofer.
In 2018 the final was contested between Christine Seehofer and Bugl, with the former winning 21-18 21-10 21-6. That final could be repeated in 2019 if the top two seeds live up to their billing.
The 2018 Men’s final was won by World No.1 Lukas Windischberger, who defeated Dan Busby 13-21 18-21 21-7 19-12.
With Windischberger not returning to defend his crown, the Men’s A draw is fronted by World No.3 Kresten Hougaard who competes in a draw which includes six top-15 players.
The tournament takes place at the Tennis Point Vienna from the 1st to 3rd of February. This is a return to the venue that hosted last year’s Austrian Open and World Tour Finals in November.
Christine Seehofer the Strong Vienna Classics Favourite
As with every event she enters, Christine Seehofer enters the Vienna Classics as the strong favourite to lift the title.
In the opening round, she takes on fellow Austrian Irina Olsacher for the first time. Her sister Elisabeth, possibly await in the semi-finals once again, if she can defeat Laura Smits in the opening round.
Were the sisters to meet in the second round, it would remarkably be their fifth meeting at the Vienna Classics.
The bottom half of the draw is led by Bettina Bugl who opens her tournament against Zuzana Vancurikova. The winner of that will play either Stine Krogsoe or Virag Sakovics in the semi-final.
The World No.1 and World No.3 are strong favourites to make it an all-Austrian final. Were it to happen it would incredibly be the 18th meeting on the World Tour between Seehofer and Bugl, with the World No.1 still yet to lose to her countrywoman.
Kresten Hougaard Leads Stacked Men’s A
Kresten Hougaard is hoping to go one better than brother Jesper recently did at the Thailand Open as he begins his season at the Vienna Classics. The Dane takes the top seed in an open draw with World No.6 and home favourite Emanuel Schopf as the second seed.
They both receive a first-round bye along with World No.7 Luka Penttinen and World No.8 Duncan Stahl. Arnaud Genin, who won the Austrian Open held at this venue late last year, is also in the field. He opens against Marcel Weigl with the winner facing current O40 World Champion Stahl in the quarter-finals.
2017 European Champion Rav Rykowski plays Nikola Mikac for the second time for a chance to play young star Luka Penttinen in the quarter-finals. Rykowski beat Mikac when they last faced off at this venue just four months ago.
The other two first-round matches see wildcard Marco Genzel take on Bernhard Pilsz while there’s an all-Austrian affair between Stephan Schmutzer and Hans Sherpa.
Good luck to all players competing at the 2019 Vienna Classics. You can keep up to date with the tournament throughout the weekend by following racketlon social media channels.
The full Vienna Classics draw for all categories can be seen here.
The live video of the draw for the elite classes can be watched here.
Our full list of 2019 World Tour tournaments is available here for all to enter.
Sam Barker / FIR Media Officer