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EUROPEAN OPEN 2021 HAS BEEN A HUGE SUCCESS

The European Open 2021, thanks to Tennium, brought for the sixth consecutive year the best tennis to Belgium consolidating it as the greatest tournament in the country. From October 17th to 24th, around 20,000 people were passing through the Lotto Arena of Antwerp to see one of the most thrilling and spectacular editions of this tennis tournament.

Italian Jannik Sinner poses for the photographer after winning a tennis match between Italian Sinner and Argentinian Schwartzman, the finals of the singles at the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp, Sunday 24 October 2021. BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ
Italian Jannik Sinner poses after winning the singles finals at the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp. BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ

The 20-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner managed to win the 6th edition of the European Open in the final against the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in two sets, 6/2, 6/2. Italian started strongly and immediately cashed a break, nothing seemed to be able to stop Sinner who quickly settled the first set and after an early break in the second set put himself on course for the Championship. The Italian can now call himself the youngest winner in the history of the European Open.

Diego Schwartzman and Great-Britain's Jamie Murray pictured during a singles match between British Murray and Argentinian Schwartzman, in the 1/8 finals of the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp, Thursday 21 October 2021. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM
Argentinian Diego Schwartzman and British Andy Murray pictured during the 1/8 finals of the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

Two other big names at the tournament were among others, Schwartzman and Murray. The Argentine No. 16 of the world was in the final of the European Open for the third time, before reaching the final he defeated one of the revelations of the tournament American Jenson Brooksby and in the quarter-finals, he won against the Two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray. The British have not been able to repeat his first match of this European Open, the fifth-longest three-setter since 2008, against Frances Tiafoe in probably the most entertaining and great match of the tournament.

French Nicolas Mahut and French Fabrice Martin pictured after winning a doubles men game between Dutch pair Koolhof - Rojer and French Mahut - Martin, the finals of the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp, Sunday 24 October 2021. BELGA PHOTO KRISTOF VAN ACCOM
French Nicolas Mahut and French Fabrice Martin pictured after winning a doubles finals of the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp. BELGA PHOTO KRISTOF VAN ACCOM

Nicolas Mahut and Fabrice Martin crowned themselves the doubles champions of the European Open 2021 in 2 sets 6/0, 6/1. In an almost perfect final against the Dutchmen Koolhof/Rojer, the French duo did not give away a single game in the first set and won 6/0. In the second set, there was no strong enough answer from the camp of Rojer/Koolhof and the French conquered the championship.

Belgian Xavier Malisse and South African Lloyd Harris pictured after a doubles men game between Dutch pair Koolhof-Rojer and Belgian Malisse and South-African Harris, a semi finals game at the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp, Saturday 23 October 2021. BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ
Belgian Xavier Malisse and South African Lloyd Harris pictured after a doubles men semi-finals game at the European Open Tennis ATP tournament, in Antwerp. BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ

One of the big names of the tournament that drove the Belgian crowd crazy was Xavier Malisse, the return of the Belgian player to competition 8 years after his retirement was unbelievable. Malisse at the side of his pupil South African Lloyd Harris, was one step away to qualify for the double’s final after a very strong tournament week. The Belgian-South African team reached Saturday’s semi-finals after defeating No.2 seed duo Dodig/Melo in the quarter-finals and Arneodo/Reid in the first round. It was great to see Court 1 and the Lotto Arena almost full house cheering the Belgian legend in all the matches.

VIBER – TENNIUM YOUNG TALENT PROMOTION PROJECT

Rakuten Viber and Tennium join forces to promote world tennis hopefuls. Rakuten Viber, one of the world’s leaders in free and secure communications applications, is pleased to present its sponsorship with Tennium, a global tennis platform, to support and promote the young international tennis stars of tomorrow.

As part of this agreement, 6 young up and coming talented international tennis players from different geographical regions of the world, will be sharing their experiences with Viber users in a specially dedicated community. The talents are the following :

  • Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva (Andorra) ⇒ International Tennis Federation Junior Ranking: 1
  • Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (Denmark) ⇒ ATP Ranking: 124
  • Marta Custic (Spain) ⇒ WTA Ranking: 669
  • Lennon Jones (Japan) ⇒ International Tennis Federation Junior ATP Ranking: 146
  • Luca Nardi (Italy) ⇒ ATP Ranking: 447
  • Zane Khan (United States of America) ⇒ ATP Ranking: 408

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Enric Molina, Partner and Executive Director at Tennium: “We are very excited about partnering with Rakuten Viber in this new and ambitious project and to support some of the most talented tennis of the next generation of players. We are fully aligned with Rakuten Viber’s values and vision as we look forward to offering a whole new experience to the fans in their interaction with athletes.” Holger Rune said “Engaging with fans through Viber is super fun and entertaining and something that feels very natural to me”. Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva also added: “I love the Viber messaging app and all of its features, particularly the stickers that they have created for us!”

It’s part of Viber’s DNA to look for the gamechangers with outstanding future potential, which is why we also support the top tennis talents. Over the years we have shown that we are keen to give life to inspiring and entertaining campaigns in sport and tennis in particular”, said Atanas Raykov, Senior Director – EMENA at Rakuten Viber.

The Viber-Tennium’s Project is designed to help the development of promising tennis players in a context where it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a name for oneself. It is constantly evolving and now has more than 280,000 members in its community named Viber Tennis Academy (VTA).

As part of this partnership, Viber Tennis Academy fans around the world will enjoy exclusive content on Viber including:

  • An official Viber community, named Viber Tennis Academy publishing daily content about the players’s match preparations, training sessions, updates, polls and much more.
  • Custom stickers featuring the 6 player’s unique moves, catch words and expressions (by downloading them, fans automatically join the Viber Tennis Academy community.
  • Exclusive merch coming from the 6 young talents can be won exclusively by Viber users such as signed clothes or rackets.

Results so far are impressive:

  • The Viber Tennis Academy has built a fanbase of more than 250,000 in less than 4 months (April-July 2021)
  • More than 250,000 people downloaded one or more of the 7 sticker packs
  • More than 500,000 people sent a message while using one of the 68 stickers