Spotting tennis stars in Antwerp: Jannik Sinner becomes second top ten player, David Goffin receives wild card at European Open
19 de September, 2023
In addition to the previously announced Stefanos Tsitsipas (ATP 5), Jannik Sinner (ATP 7) becomes the second top ten player at the European Open (October 16-22 in Antwerp). As the best Belgian, David Goffin (ATP 100) receives a wild card for the main table.
The fact that the European Open can feature top ten players for the first time shows that the country’s only ATP tournament continues to grow steadily in its eighth edition. “We have to invest heavily to attract such big names,” says event director Ilse Van Parys. “Otherwise Antwerp cannot compete with the Tokyo tournament, which organizes the same period.”
In addition to Sinner and Tsitsipas, former US Open winner Dominic Thiem (2020), Grigor Dimitrov (ATP 20, once number 3 and winner of the 2017 Masters) and Sebastian Korda (ATP 33) are also big names on the bill. “We notice from ticket sales that the public appreciates that table,” explains tournament director Dick Norman. “Almost everything is sold out during the weekend. We are even already looking for space to add extra chairs. And the evenings when seeds such as Dimitrov, Sinner and Tsitsipas start the tournament will also be top moments.”
Norman points out the age difference in Antwerp. “We have the oldest player in the top hundred with 37-year-old Frenchman Richard Gasquet, and the youngest with his 19-year-old compatriot Arhur Fils. Just keep an eye on him for the future. I am also pleased that many players are happy to return to Antwerp. We are also spoiling them more and more, including by constructing a third training track at the David Lloyd Sports Club in Edegem.”
In addition to Goffin for the main draw, the two Belgian teenage talents Gilles-Arnaud Bailly and Alexander Block received a wildcard for the qualifications. “If I can dream for a moment and survive those preliminary rounds, of course, I would love to play against Stefanos Tsitsipas,” said Bailly.