The Erste Bank Open announced its first five players that will compete in Vienna from 21 to 27 October 2019. The defending finalist Kei Nishikori, the local hero Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and the two young Canadians Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime will compete.
Last year Nishikori lost to Kevin Anderson in the championship clash, while Thiem was beaten by the Japanese himself in the semis. Kyrgios has withdrawn due to an elbow injury ending his season in Moscow, while Shapovalov had played in Basel.
The organizers will try to bring in the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic after failing to do it in 2018 when following the triumph in Shanghai the Serb could have received a wild card from Vienna or Basel in order to get to the ATP Rankings throne again.
Rafael Nadal will not play any event in that week, as after the Rolex Shanghai Masters he plans to get married to his longtime girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello. Auger-Aliassime will make his second appearance in Vienna after getting a wild card in 2018 losing to Marton Fucsovics.
"I liked it a lot", the 18-year-old said. "But I also played junior tournaments in the area. This year I am a different player and I hope to play a lot of matches. I improved a lot in the last six, 12 months. I played so well and that gave me a lot of confidence.
Everything went fast from South America and yet everything was step by step because I worked a lot. But I deserve it and I think I can go even further."