Home favourites to face strong competition

The main draw for the 31st edition of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz was revealed on Saturday, featuring a couple of interesting matches. The 28-woman field of the long-standing WTA 250 tournament is led by reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.

Both Austrian wild card entries face strong opponents in their opening matches. Julia Grabher will challenge Alize Cornet of France. "I am very pleased. She is a very experienced player, but I think that I can make it," said the World No. 198 Grabher, who has captured eight titles on the ITF Pro Circuit. Meanwhile, teenager Sinja Kraus will oppose Alison van Uytvanck from Belgium in the first round. “I'm really looking forward to the match. I know her, but only from television," said the World No. 454 Kraus.

The main draw ceremony took place at the Linz AG Eisarena and was attended by van Uytvanck and Romania’s Sorana Cirstea as well as by three ice hockey players from the local "Ice Cats" team.

"There are very special guests here, special players and it's a very special place for the draw. It is nice to see that young women from different sports come together," said Dr. Jutta Rinner, board director of Linz AG.

Tennis-Queen Emma Raducanu arrives in Linz


The new "Tennis Queen" arrived on time at Linz Airport accompanied by magnificent sunshine and was warmly welcomed by tournament director Sandra Reichel.

"I am excited to be here," said Raducanu. "I have heard many nice things about the city." On arrival at the player's hotel, the top seed met tournament ambassador Barbara Schett. But it was not the end of the working day for the shooting star, as Raducanu went on to hit the courts for a first practice session later in the afternoon.

After a first-round bye, the World No. 21 will start her title bid against a qualifier.

Halep arrives in Linz

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep also arrived on Saturday. The 30-year-old Romanian landed in Vienna and took the train to Linz, where she was also welcomed by Reichel and Schett. Halep leads the bottom half of the draw and awaits the winner of the match between Fiona Ferro of France and Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

World No. 30 and third seed Danielle Collins from the United States will open her Upper Austria Ladies Linz campaign against either Greet Minnen from Belgium or Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin. Veronika Kudermetova of Russia rounds out the tournament's Top-4 seeds. The World No. 31 will step into second-round action against either Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine or Italian Martina Trevisan.