The finalists of the European Open 2022 are known. After two very exciting semi-finals, Sebastian Korda and Félix Auger-Aliassime were crowned as match winners.
The first match of the day was a wheelchair tennis demonstration match between Belgian/Dutch duo Egberink/Gérard and Dutch duo Scheffers/Spaargaren. A very balanced duel of the Low Countries ended 6/5 in favour of the Dutch duo.
In the first singles semi-final, Dominic Thiem and Sebastian Korda looked each other in the eye. With a lot of strong services, both players kept each other in balance in the first set. A tiebreak had to decide the match and Korda took a 4-2 lead, but Thiem did not give up. Five points in a row won the set: 7- 6(4).
Thiem, former world number three, did not continue that line at the start of the second set. He immediately faced a break on love. The 17-time ATP winner broke back immediately but had to concede his serve game again to a resilient Korda in the game afterwards. The American sought the lines more and more, while it rained break balls in the second set. Korda managed to make the most of them and took the set 3-6.
As so often at the European Open this year, the third set provided fireworks. Thiem forced two break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead, a ball from Korda deviated on the net and the Austrian took the lead 4-3. Korda was far from letting himself off the hook. A second break ball was the good one for 4-4. A tiebreak again had to bring the decision. The 22-year-old American climbed to a 0-3 lead. Thiem fought back and came back to 3-4, but that was all: 6-7(4). The match lasted 2 hours and 43 minutes. For Korda, this means his second final in a week, as he was in the final in Gijon (Spain, ATP 250). He lost against Andrey Rublev (ATP-8).
In the second semi-final, former winner Richard Gasquet and Canadian number 10 Félix Auger Aliassime faced each other. This match was also of a very high level and evenly matched. Gasquet’s clever backhands and Auger-Aliassime’s acceleration could charm a packed Lotto Arena more than once. A tiebreak had to bring the decision in the first set and Auger-Aliassime was able to start it with a clever passing shot to take a 0-3 and, moments later, 0-4 lead. Gasquet still came back to 2-5, but Auger-Aliassime gave the Frenchman no chance to come back: 6-7(2).
In the second set, it was already exciting again. The clever points and close calls piled up. The Canadian had to bring out his best tennis and was able to force Gasquet back to deuce three times on his serve, but the Frenchman remained icily calm and won the game (5-4). At 5-5, Auger-Aliassime had another break opportunity, but again Gasquet worked it away. Again, a tiebreak had to decide: Auger-Aliassime deepened a 2-5 lead to a 6-7(3) match win.
Dutch duo Griekspoor/van de Zandschulp versus Indian/Dutch pair Bopanna/Middelkoop will decide who wins the final of the doubles on Sunday at 13:30. The final between Korda and Auger-Aliassime won’t start before 4pm.
The Flemish government joins hands with the city of Antwerp through EventFlanders to make this top event possible. EventFlanders operates within Tourism Flanders, but is a collaboration between Tourism Flanders, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Culture, Youth and Media and Sport Vlaanderen.