Seven operations and not played for two years, but now tennis player Joris De Loore can no longer be beaten: “Never thought about stopping”

©  FPT/Sara Falcao

Joris De Loore (ATP 266) qualified on Thursday for the semifinals of the second Challenger tournament in Oeiras, Portugal (hard court/73,000 dollars). In the quarterfinals he defeated the Italian Lorenzo Giustino (ATP 282). It became 6-2, 6-4 after an hour and twelve minutes.

Vincent Van GenechtenBron: BELGIAN

To advance to the final, De Loore must pass the Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert (ATP 304) or home player and wildcard Pedro Sousa (ATP 494).

Last week, Joris De Loore won the first tournament in Oeiras, near the capital Lisbon, for his first ever Challenger victory. He defeated the Romanian Filip Jianu (ATP 304) in the final. After an hour and nineteen minutes, the final score was 6-3, 6-2.

It actually earned him an article on the ATP website. Not entirely illogical, because De Loore has endured a lot of injuries in recent years. He couldn’t play tennis for two years.


“I had to undergo surgery every year for seven seasons in a row,” said our compatriot. “The last procedure was done at the end of 2020, on my left hip. If I have to list all my injuries, we’ll be there for an hour. But I never thought about quitting. It must have haunted my mind at times, but I knew it was possible to stay pro. After that hip injury I had mixed feelings. It was a major operation, but luckily everything went according to plan.”

De Loore also had surgery on his left knee (twice), wrist, right elbow, hand and toe. But now, at the age of 29, he won his first tournament on the Challenger circuit, the level below the ATP Tour. He previously won four ITF titles and seven Futures tournaments.

“It feels very good,” he says. “Especially because I couldn’t play for a long time. Finally a reward for all that hard work. This really gives me a huge boost. I feel good, I play well, now it’s just a matter of keeping fit. Then this could be my year. I want to prove that I can reach the top 100. I firmly believe in that.”


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