Today’s matches marked the kick off for the semifinals of the European Open. Several top players aimed for a ticket in the final four in presence of a crowded Lotto Arena. The Argentinian Diego Schwartzman (ATP-17), second seed, was the first one to qualify, with a 6-3 and 6-4 win over the French Gilles Simon.
“I am truly pleased with my performance today and happy to have qualified for the semi’s. We’ll see what comes next, although I really hope to make it the next round!” the finalist of the two previous years, Schwartzman, commented.
Later this day, Kyle Edmund (ATP-15), Gaël Monfils (ATP-38) and Richard Gasquet (ATP-28) secured their place in the semifinals. Gasquet won after a long and challenging match against German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-7 (4) en 7-6 (9), while Edmund benefited from a wallk-over. The tournament’s revelation, Ilya Ivashka, had to retire due to an injury on his left thigh.
European Open Party
Today’s Lotto Arena events weren’t only marked by tennis. A true after-tennis party was hosted on Court 1. Every visitor enjoyed free access to the first edition of the European Open party!
Last weekend the European Open practice court on the Astridplein in Antwerp was officially opened by Mayor Bart De Wever. Maxime Braeckman of the Kim Clijsters Academy was the first one to use the court and played tennis for almost 25 hours to support SOS Children’s Villages.
Braeckman started Saturday morning at 7am and played his last match against Tia Hellebaut on Sunday at 7:45 am. In total, he played forty consecutive matche against famous Belgians like Bart Schols, Guga Baul, Karel Geraerts and Hanna Marien. Also some sponsors and promising youngsters of the Kim Clijsters Academy could play against Braeckman.
The initiative raised 25 000 euro, which will be entirely donated to SOS Children’s Villages in order to construct a sports field in the SOS Children’s Village in Trjavna, Bulgaria.
Steve Darcis (ATP-119) and Joris De Loore (ATP-191) have received a wildcard for the main draw from the organization of the European Open tournament.
It was David Goffin (ATP-14) himself who announced the news at a press conference at the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) in Antwerp. Darcis and De Loore were shining during the Davis Cup match against Brazil last weekend and they will now join Goffin at the European Open. A third wildcard will be awarded last minute.
“Johan (Van Herck) told me the news last Saturday,” said a delighted De Loore. “I’m going to give everything and I see this chance as a unique opportunity. It is my first ATP tournament so I can gain a lot of experience. Hopefully a lot of fans will be present. “
Also Darcis thanked the organization for his wildcard. “I have worked hard during the recent months and I hope to be back at the top 100 at the end of the season so I can play at the main draw of the Australian Open.”
After the press conference, the three Belgian topplayers hit some balls with Mayor Bart De Wever on a tennis court especially built for the occasion.
Sebastian Grosjean and Kristoff Puelinckx, both founders of Tennium were at the press conference.
Do you want to see Goffin, Darcis, De Loore and the other stars of the ATP World Tour live in action? Get your tickets now by following this link.