Johan Van Herck impressed by Alexander Blockx: “Very exceptional, but don’t think he will be in the top 100 next year”
28 de January, 2023
Alexander Blockx (17) from Antwerp wrote tennis history on Saturday by becoming only the third Belgian man to ever win a Grand Slam among the juniors. Blockx took victory in a nail-biter of a final against the American Learner Tien. “This is a very exceptional achievement”, realizes Johan Van Herck, captain of the Davis Cup team.
When we speak to Van Herck on Saturday, he is ready to leave for South Korea. There he will compete with his Davis Cup team in early February for a spot in the Davis Cup Finals. “I was not able to watch Alexander’s match, but I followed it closely via live score. How exceptional is this? If you see that he is only the third Belgian man to achieve this, then that speaks for itself. This is extremely important for a youth player, because you are among the absolute world top of your peers, aren’t you.”
Blockx has also been among the world’s best for years. In that respect, the victory at the Australian Open will not change too much for the young Antwerp resident. “I still know Alexander from my time at Tennis Vlaanderen. Moreover, he will soon travel to South Korea to train with the team for a week. Alexander’s qualities are beyond dispute, but apart from that he is a quiet, down-to-earth guy. I see this triumph mainly as a reward for the hard work he has been doing for years.”
At the same time, Johan Van Herck immediately tempers expectations. We should not immediately start dreaming of a Belgian world top player among the men. After all, that road is still very long, Van Herck realizes. “Alexander has been known as a great talent for years, and expectations will only increase from now on. We should not start thinking that he will easily be in the top 100 within 1 to 2 years. Alexander must now absolutely be given the time to grow and to keep taking steps. Moreover, he will also have to go through a transition on a mental level. After all, he always plays to win, but with the pros he will first and foremost have to compete to collect points. An adjustment that should not be underestimated.”