Félix Auger-Aliassime has won the seventh edition of the European Open. The Canadian defeated American Sebastian Korda (ATP-36) in two fine sets 3-6 and 3-6 in the final on Sunday.
Second series leader and number 10 in the ATP rankings Auger-Aliassime battled for his third ATP title of the year in the final of the European Open at a packed Lotto Arena. Both 22-year-old players faced each other for the third time. In the confrontations between them, they were tied 1-1.
In the first set, the service game of both tennis stars was almost flawless, and they gave each other no break chances. In the sixth game, Korda let Auger-Aliassime go with a sublime dropshot to his first break point, and it was immediately the good one. The Canadian deepened the lead to 2-5 and even got a first set ball on Korda’s serve. The American worked away the set point but one game later Auger Aliassime finished the job on his own serve. With another beautiful dropshot, the Canadian won the first set 6-3.
After the first set, Korda received an injury treatment, but he kept going to the limit. He knuckled down to two break balls. Auger-Aliassime worked away the break points with another strong serve and did exploit a break ball in the next game. With a 4-5 lead, the second set head was able to serve for the match. The Canadian kept his cool, finishing easily on his serve and thus crowned himself the winner of the seventh edition of the European Open 3-6, 4-6. It is the third ATP title for Auger-Aliassime. Earlier this year, he already won the ATP Rotterdam and Florence tournaments.
The Dutch duo Tallon Griekspoor (ATP D-684) and Botic van de Zandschulp (ATP D-216) had won the doubles tournament earlier in the day against the Indian-Dutch team Rohan Bopanna (ATP D-20) and Matwe Middelkoop (ATP D-25). In the second game, the Indian-Dutch duo already decorated a break. Middelkoop and Bopanna maintained their lead and grabbed the first set 3-6.
The Dutch pair battled back and went through Middelkoop and Bopanna’s serve in the eighth game of the second set. Van de Zandschulp and Griekspoor cashed in their second set ball and brought the boards back into balance with a 6-3 set win. In the super tiebreak in the third set, the duo of van de Zandschulp and Griekspoor climbed to a 9-5 lead. The first match ball was immediately the right one, thus winning the doubles title. This final victory in Antwerp is their first doubles title together.
Kristoff Puelinckx, Founder&CEO Tennium: “We are breaking all records this year with the spectator numbers, in total we sold over 28 000 tickets. Right from the start of the week, a pack of people turned up. It was noticeable that ticket sales especially boomed just before the tournament. Again, we received many congratulations from the city of Antwerp, the Flemish and federal authorities, sponsors, and many others about the organization. I would like to thank them for the smooth cooperation. The players also gave very positive feedback. A lot of players also visited the city and, for example, visited Chocolate Nation. I would also like to congratulate Dick, Ilse and their entire team for the organization.”
Dick Norman, Tournament Director European Open: “I am a very satisfied tournament director. Once again, we managed to put together a great list of participants, a mix of young talent and experienced players. And new names, just think of Gilles-Arnaud Bailly, a 17-year-old Belgian who played very well here. We saw a lot of exciting and brilliant matches. Right from the first day, a lot had shown up at the Lotto Arena. Top-ten player Félix Auger-Aliassime is a fantastic overall winner of the 2022 European Open. We are already looking forward to the 2023 edition, for which preparations have already started.”
Alderman for Sport Antwerp Peter Wouters: “Game, set, match. Over the past week, we have once again seen that ‘match’ between the European Open and the tennis city of Antwerp. The collaboration with Chocolate Nation inspired the assembled tennis stars to conjure a lot of goodies out of their rackets. The many spectators also showed their best side again and fiercely encouraged all players, although there was also a healthy portion of (Antwerp) chauvinism among them. Goffin, Bailly, Bemelmans, Malisse and co were enthusiastically applauded, and local hero Michaël Geerts really raised the decibel meter. That continues to taste like more! As far as Sporting A is concerned, edition number eight may start tomorrow!”
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.