Gaël Monfils, the French showman who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, has confirmed his participation at the European Open. Last year, Monfils couldn’t make it due to an injury, but the 31-year-old Frenchman will be present this season.
Monfils has been a certainty in the top 50 of men’s tennis for years. In 2016 he was even ranked sixth. Furthermore, he is loved on tour for his showy tennis. Diving, tweeners, trick shots, … he can do it all, and he will bring it to Antwerp next October.
Monfils, who will be playing in Belgium for the first time, is very excited. “It’s always great to come back to Europe after a long trip to Asia. I hope I can add the European Open to my tally.”
As such, Monfils will join David Goffin in the Belgian’s home tournament, where they can potentially meet again after their memorable last encounter during this year’s Roland Garros. There, Goffin won a nerve-wracking match in five sets.
Barcelona, 3rd of June, 2018 – Tennium, the global tennis platform company and owner of ATP 250 tournaments of Antwerp, Buenos Aires and the Senior Masters Cup in Marbella, announced today the launch of a new player management & representation division with the addition of Enric Molina to the team.
This new project will be led by Enric Molina himself who brings more than 20 years of experience in the tennis industry and a valuable portfolio of world-class players such as Spaniards Feliciano López, Marc López, Tommy Robredo and Lara Arruabarrena, Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Colombian Santiago Giraldo as well as young rising stars Paula Badosa Gibert, Sara Sorribes Tormo, Marie Bouzkova, Ilya Ivashka, Carlos Taberner, Alvaro Lopez San Martin, Zizou Bergs and Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva, recently crowned Champion at Longines Futures Tennis Aces under the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris.
“From the beginning at Tennium we had in mind the idea of expanding our activities to the player management field. Once we had consolidated the Antwerp and Buenos Aires projects, the next natural step was to look into this new business division. And we are very pleased to partner with Enric Molina in this new venture and company’s expansion”, said Kristoff Puelinckx, Founder and CEO of Tennium.
“Our goal is to grow as a ’boutique’ international agency offering a very exclusive and personalized service to our clients,” explains Enric Molina, new partner at Tennium and responsible for this new project. “We believe in the talent of youngsters and that ́s why we have set up an investment fund dedicated exclusively to support the development and growth of future stars.”
Tennium is headquartered in Barcelona and has presence in Argentina, Belgium, the United States and the UAE. Tennium owns the ATP 250 European Open, to be held in Antwerp, Belgium, from October 14-21, 2018; the ATP 250 Argentina Open, a clay tournament of great tradition held in Buenos Aires, and the Marbella Senior Masters Cup, which will host its third edition in September 28-29 at the Hotel Puente Romano in Marbella, Spain.
The Tennium team is led by Kristoff Puelinckx, founder and CEO, former French tennis player Sebastian Grosjean and partners Martin Hughes, Joaquín Ríos, Juan De Dios Aguirre and Enric Molina.
On Monday morning, more than a month before the final of the Davis Cup between France and Belgium, both countries faced off in battle … on the water! Team Belgium convincingly won the European Open Pedalo Cup in the docks of the Port of Antwerp.
All the major Belgian names and a few of France’s best players in the main draw of the European Open, the only ATP World Tour tournament in Belgium, is a taste of what is to come next month: Belgium-France. Before the battle on the tennis court in the Lotto Arena begins, a smaller battle took place on the water on Monday morning on the docks of the iconic Antwerp Port House. In a pedalo competition, David Goffin and Steve Darcis won against Benoit Paire and Sébastien Grosjean, former number 4 in the world and winner of the Davis Cup in 2001.
The Australian Nick Kyrgios acted as chief umpire of the pedalo contest and saw Team Belgium take a flying start. Team France had some difficulty in navigating and could not make up for the lost time. And so David Goffin and Steve Darcis were the clear winners of the European Open Pedalo Cup! Afterwards, the protagonists could analyze their performance at a press conference in the Port’s panorama hall, and chat about the upcoming week of tennis.
“Let’s be honest, the opposition today was not that strong,” said Steve Darcis with a wink. “Our boat was sabotaged,” replied Benoit Paire. “In the Davis Cup, it may be a bit more exciting,” continued Darcis. “I had a great time on the water, it was a great idea!”. David Goffin also found the European Open Pedalo Cup pure fun. “I don’t know if the French will have recovered from this heavy effort next month. The physical and psychological benefit in the Davis Cup is for us,” joked Goffin.
GOFFIN: ‘CONFIDENTIAL BOARD’
After this little outing the conversation got more serious and focused on tennis. Goffin has been back on home turf for three days after a successful Asian tour with tournament wins in Shenzhen and Tokyo. “I’m happy to be in Belgium again. I feel good and have a few more days to recover from the time difference. Also, I won’t yet think about my first match on Thursday, though I’m full of confidence. I am considered the favorite, but I don’t think I am.”
Steve Darcis had to fight against Nick Kyrgios a few weeks ago in Beijing with a neck injury. “The injury is a thing of the past, I’m 100 percent ready for the European Open,” said the player from Liège, who plays his first match on Wednesday night. “I hope there will be a lot of people watching. In a room full of Belgian fans, I can always do something more”, Darcis mentioned, referring to his nickname ‘Mister Davis Cup’.
One month ago, Nick Kyrgios lost in Brussels with the Australian team in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup. “I didn’t think I’d be back in Belgium so soon, but I’m glad I’m here. The European Open has a strong group of players, and I’m going to play doubles together with my mate Matt Reid.”
The European Open, which will take place from 15 to 22 October in the Lotto Arena in Antwerp, reveals today the 22 players in the main draw. New international spearheads on the entry list are, among others, Pablo Cuevas, Diego Schwartzman, Kyle Edmund, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Canadian shooting star Denis Shapovalov. Besides David Goffin and Steve Darcis, Belgium’s only ATP World Tour competition can now welcome another two Belgians in Ruben Bemelmans and Zizou Bergs.
It has been established for months that David Goffin, Steve Darcis, Gaël Monfils, David Ferrer and defending champion Richard Gasquet will come to the European Open 2017. Moreover, Monfils was able to reassure the organisation after throwing in the towel at the US Open: the injury he sustained will not prevent him from being ready in Antwerp in more than a month’s time.
The entry list for the main draw was closed yesterday evening and so today a range of new, interesting names will be added to players list. The Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, last year’s runner-up and currently quarter finalist at the US Open, will also be present. The same goes for the Brit Kyle Edmund, who was defeated by Richard Gasquet in last year’s semi-finals.
With the previously announced David Ferrer and now also Alexandr Dolgopolov and Pablo Cuevas, we will be welcoming three players in Antwerp who have already won an ATP title this year. Ivo Karlovic and Benoît Paire are another two experienced players.
The European Open will also be welcoming three “coming men” who are on their way to the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. This new final round for players under 21 was introduced by the ATP this year. Denis Shapovalov is now sixth in the ATP Race to Milan. The 18 year-old Canadian is even being tipped as a future grand slam champion. In 2016, Shapovalov won the junior title at Wimbledon, and a few weeks ago he has beaten Rafael Nadal in Montreal. The Americans Jared Donaldson and Ernesto Escobedo, numbers 4 and 10 respectively on the #NextGen ranking, are coming to Antwerp as well.
Two Belgians are also being added to this great mixture of experienced tennis stars and #NextGen players. Ruben Bemelmans gets a wild card for the main table of the singles. Zizou Bergs, the 18 year-old talent from Limburg, will be performing in the singles competition qualifications. The other two wild cards for the main draw will only be awarded right before the start of the tournament. This will give a few more top players who want to collect points for the ATP Finals the chance to do just that in Antwerp.