The Republic of Austria (more commonly known as Austria) is a landlocked country located in southern Europe. In 2022, the population of Austria was nearly 9 million, with its most populated area in and around its capital city of Vienna.
Tennis is among the top popular sports in Austria. In fact, this small country hosts a few stops on the men’s (ATP) and women’s (WTA) professional tours. These are the ten best Austrian players of all time –
10. Jurij Rodionov has a career singles ranking high of 124 (2022) and a career doubles ranking high of 268 (2019).
Jurij Rodionov is an Austrian tennis player who was born in 1999. Like many, Jurij Rodionov was first interested in playing football but found he loved the game when he tried it at age four. Rodionov is a left-handed professional tennis player. Jurij Rodionov has been victorious in three ATP Challenger singles events.
This first title was at the Almaty Challenger in 2018. Two years later, Jurij Rodionov won the RBC Tennis Championships held in Dallas, Texas (2020). His first ATP Challenger doubles win happened at Chymkent Challenger in 2019.
Jurij Rodionov made his main draw debut at a Grand Slam event in 2020 when he made it as a qualifier at the French Open. That same year, Rodionov made it past the French Open’s first round after defeating Jeremy Chardy in a five-set win.
9. Tamira Paszek began playing tennis with her mom at four years of age.
Tamira Shelah Paszek is a female tennis player of Austrian descent. Paszek was born in 1990 in Austria. As a junior player, she made it to the 2005 Wimbledon Championship finals and the US Open finals in 2006. She turned pro in 2005. In 2011 and 2012, Paszek had her greatest success getting to Wimbledon’s quarterfinals twice.
Early in 2013, Paszek reached her best world women’s singles ranking of #26. That same year Tamira peaked as a doubles player, with a world ranking of #93.
As a professional Austrian tennis player, Tamira Paszek has defeated some top competitors, which include Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, Francesca Schiavone, Marion Bartoli, Flavia Pennetta, and patty Schnyder, to name a few. Tamira Paszek has won three WTA tour titles and eight combined ITF titles on the Women’s Circuit.
8. Dennis Novak made it to the Wimbledon Championship’s third round in 2018.
Dennis Novak is among the best Austrian professional tennis players to have played. This six-foot, right-handed player (with a strong two-handed backhand) was born in 1993 in Weiner Neustadt, Austria. Novak turned pro in 2011. In 2013, Dennis Novak made his first main draw after beating several opponents in the tournament’s qualifying rounds. The next year he won two ATP Challenger Titles in Slovakia and Taipei.
Dennis Novak cracked the top 100 (at #99) in rankings at the beginning of 2020. A few months later, Dennis Novak reached his career-high singles ranking of #85. In 2022, he made it into the second round of Wimbledon.
7. Moritz Theim made his first ATP main draw (Generali Open Kitzbuhel) as a doubles player.
Moritz Thiem is the younger brother of another world-renowned tennis player – Dominic. He was born in 1999, six years after Dominic. Like his brother, Mortiz Thiem is a right-handed professional tennis player who has been playing since 2016, with a lifetime professional record on clay and hard surfaces of 40 and 48.
2019 was his best year as a professional. Mortiz Thiem also achieved his highest ATP ranking and maintained a winning percentage in hard surface tournaments. In 2018, Moritz had a winning record on clay, scoring 18 victories out of 31 matches.
6. Julia Grabher played both singles and doubles as a professional tennis player.
Grabher is a right-handed professional women’s tennis player from Austria who was born in 1996 in Dornbirn, Austria. Julia Grabher plays right-handed and has won one singles title (a WTA 125 Even) on the women’s (WTA) Challenger Tour, plus 19 singles and doubles titles when competing as a professional on the ITF Women’s Circuit Tour. Grabher, who has also represented Austria on its Fed Cup Team, reached her top world singles rankings in 2022 when she hit #85 in the world.
Julia Grabher also participated in professional women’s tennis, where her peak ranking as a doubles player was #387 in 2016.
5. Sebastian Ofner’s highest ranking as a professional tennis player was in 2019 – at 126.
Sebastian Ofner is one of the top Austrian tennis players of all time. Born in 1996 in Bruck an der Mur, Austria, Ofner plays as a right-handed 6’ 3” player with a solid two-handed backhand. Ofner turned pro in 2015 and made his first ATP main draw at Wimbledon in 2017 – after defeating three opponents to qualify. He beat Bellucci to make it to the second round, where he upset Jack Sock (then ranked 18th in the world) in a five-set thrilling match.
In 2017 Sebastian Ofner also defeated, as a wild card entrant, the number-one seed Pablo Cuevas in the second round in front of his hometown crowd at the Generali Open Kitzbühel. Ofner defeated Renzo Olivo in the next round but lost to Joao Sousa in the semi-final match. In 2022 he qualified for the French Open, where he lost to #3 Zverev in the first round.
4. As of 2022, Jurgen Melzer is the only player to beat Djokovic after losing the first two sets.
Jürgen Melzer is one of the best Austrian tennis players of all time – with a career-high world ranking in men’s singles of #8 that he earned in 2011. Melzer was born in 1981 in Vienna, Austria. He is a left-hander who also played professional doubles with his brother Gerald in several tourneys.
Jurgen Melzer won the Wimbledon boy’s singles event the same year he turned pro – 1999. He played for over a decade before he reached his first semi-final – at the French Open. Jurgen Melzer lost to Nadal after he defeated Djokovic in the quarters – overcoming a two-set deficit.
3. Barbara Schett reached an impressive singles world ranking in 1999 of #7.
Barbara Schett is among the best female Austrian tennis players of all time. Born in 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria, Schett turned pro in 1992. Barbara Schett played as a right-handed player with a two-handed backhand, winning three WTA singles titles as well as three runner-up trophies.
Barbara Schett represented Austria in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where she lost in the quarterfinals. Schett won 30 of 48 Austria Fed Cup team matches as well. Schett retired in the mid-1990s and is now a successful presenter and commentator for the network – Eurosport.
2. Dominic Thiem is an Austrian right-handed player with a powerful one-handed backhand.
Dominic Thiem, was born in Wiener Neustadt, Austria in 1993. He is an Austrian professional tennis player who turned pro in 2011. This Austrian reached an ATP singles high ranking of #3 in 2020. Theim is considered an aggressive baseliner; however, he has added various types of slices and even net play in recent years with new coaches.
Dominic Thiem, on his way to his first victory, was a runner-up in two French Open tournaments (against Rafael Nadal) and one at the Australian Open. To date, Dominic Thiem has won 17 singles titles on the ATP tour. He is the only Austrian man to win the US Open (2020) – in which he came back from a two-set deficit against Alexander Zverev for a five-set victory.
1. Thomas Muster was the first professional Austrian tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles title on the professional men’s tour.
Thomas Muster was born in Leibnitz, Austria, in 1867. He turned pro in 1985, is a left-handed player (with a reliable one-handed backhand), and was a former world number one-ranked professional tennis player.
Muster dominated the clay court professional field during the 1990s and won the French Open in 1995 – and often hailed as The King of Clay. During his Grand Slam victory year, Thomas Muster won a dozen singles titles on the men’s tour, a record which stood until Roger Federer tied it in 2006.
Thomas Muster holds the distinction of having the highest singles tournament winning percentage of any player who reached at least 25 final matches on tour. Of the 55 finals he entered, Thomas Muster won 80% or 44 wins, with only 11 defeats.
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