Into The Wild In Kitzbühel
On Monday, the 27th edition of the Generali Open kicks off in scenic Kitzbuhel, Austria. But first, the tournament’s stars stepped out for an activity at nearby Wildpark Aurach.
Two-time champion and local resident Philipp Kohlschreiber joined wild card Dennis Novak and third seed Fernando Verdasco at the animal habitat on Saturday. Located in the Austrian Alps, it is home to 200 different native and exotic animals, including monkeys, kangaroos and llamas.
“It’s a very special location,” said Kohlscreiber. “Not many tournaments can offer such a great experience with the animals, beautiful view and the weather is great. Impressive to see so many animals close up.”
Defending champion Kohlschreiber, who also lifted the trophy in 2015, is seeded second at next week’s tournament. It is the last clay-court event of the year on the ATP World Tour.
Novak, meanwhile, enters on the heels of a run to the third round at Wimbledon as a qualifier, where he earned his first Top 20 win over Lucas Pouille. His first tour-level match win came in Kitzbuhel in 2015.
Verdasco opens against either Roberto Carballes Baena or Hamburg semi-finalist Nicolas Jarry. The Spanish veteran reached the Kitzbuhel final 13 years ago, falling to Gaston Gaudio in 2005.