In a fully booked Lotto Arena, the public witnessed a world class final today at the European Open. In the end it was Andy Murray who triumphed against Stan Wawrinka to win his first tournament after his comeback.
During their 20th ATP tour meeting, Wawrinka wasted no time imposing his game on Murray striking with power and a steady serve. Murray dropped his serve early in the first set and couldn’t recover: 6-3. The Swiss kept up his level during the second set. However, Murray fought back, and closed out the set with a break: 6-4.
The Brit dominated the third set in which breaks ruled the game: 6-4.
“The last few years have been very difficult for me, so this title means a lot”, Murray reacted happily afterwards. “It was a fantastic final and Stan played incredible tennis today. I knew what to expect as we’ve played each other a lot of times. I’ve had a fantastic week here and I’d like to thank the crowd for coming out so numerous to the Lotto Arena.” “It was a very tough match, but I’m happy for Andy”, Wawrinka reacted in his turn. “It’s nice to see him back. Of course I’m disappointed, but I’m also very satisfied with my week, thanks to a fantastic organization and a very nice audience.”
First seeds Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies prevailed in Antwerp to win their third title of the year. They needed 1hour and 13 minutes to beat Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury: 7-6 (1) and 6-3. The duo is in good shape and has won New York and Roland Garros earlier this year.
The fourth edition of the European Open evolved into an absolute dream final: Stan Wawrinka vs. Andy Murray.
Today, the sold-out Lotto Arena was the scene of a battle for the coveted final spots. In the singles, Stan Wawrinka first triumphed. The Swiss defeated Jannik Sinner in two relatively smooth sets: 6-3 and 6-2.
“This was undoubtedly my best match this week,” Wawrinka said afterwards. “I’m super happy to be in the finals and know that if I play well, I can beat anyone. I feel the support of the Belgian audience and I feel welcome here in Antwerp.”
This goes for Andy Murray who overcame a stern test from Ugo Humbert. Murray came back from one set down to beat the young Frenchman with a score of 3-6, 7-5, 6-2.
“It was tricky today, Humbert’s a good mover and he served well. But it felt as if the momentum was with me during the second set. “I will try my hardest tomorrow, so it would be great to win. And if not, it has been a great week here in Antwerp.” Murray stated after the match.
Wawrinka’s looking forward to tomorrow’s match: “I have a lot of respect for Andy Murray and all that he has achieved in his career. He’s one of the greatest champions tennis has ever known. It will undoubtedly be an exciting final.”
Exit last Belgians
The Belgian public crossed their fingers this morning and hoped that Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen could also obtain their ticket to the final, but the Belgians had to acknowledge the superior tennis of the second seeds.
“It’s one of the first times that we played in front of so many Belgians”, the duo looked back on a great week. “Of course, we would have loved to end our tournament differently, but it was a close call. Off course we are very grateful to everyone who has come to support us.”
Today was quarterfinal day at the European Open. A few thrilling three-setters immediately increased the level of excitement.
The audience was once again treated to fantastic tennis. Wildcard revelation Jannik Sinner continues to surprise and upset American top talent Frances Tiafoe in three sets: 6-4, 3-6 and 6-3.
Stan Wawrinka also realizes that there’s a lot at stake. The Swiss booked his spot in the semi-finals by beating Gilles Simon in a marathon match of 2 hours and 14 minutes but didn’t want to talk about his title chances during the press conference afterwards. “I still have to play two more matches “, Stan The Man stated. “It wasn’t easy today, but I’m very satisfied with my level of tennis and my mental resilience.”
Andy Murray decided to follow in the footsteps of his colleagues and needed three sets against Marius Copil: 6-3, 6-7 (7) and 6-4. “I was hoping to finish in two sets. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out, but in the end I’m glad I took the win of course”, Murray said at the press conference. “It has been a long time since I’ve played for three days in a row, but I’m very thankful to be improving physically.”
Belgian top players Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen are enthusiastically awaited for the doubles semi finals tomorrow.
European Open Party
After the matches, everyone was welcomed at the practice courts for the traditional European Open Party. Just like last year, the tennis court underwent a metamorphosis into a true dancefloor.
Among the guests a lot of famous faces like Guga Baül and his wife Tine Embrechts, Niels Destadsbader and former Wimbledon semi-finalist Xavier Malisse. “I think it’s very cool that there’s such a great tournament in Belgium and I’m glad I was able to join today. The entry list of this year is impressive, and everything is beautifully organized. I saw that Murray has rediscovered his rhythm. His level keeps improving.”