Past Champion Sinner Returning To Antwerp’s European Open

Jannik Sinner (photo: Florian Heer)

ANTWERP/WASHINGTON, September 19, 2023 (by Michael Dickens)

Two years ago, Jannik Sinner won his fifth career title at the European Open in Antwerp by playing impressive tennis. Now, the World No. 7 from Italy is returning to Lotto Arena to compete in the eighth edition of this year’s ATP 250 indoor hard court event taking place in Belgium’s striking second city and the sports capital of the Flanders region.

On Tuesday, the European Open announced its entry list for this year’s event, which begins with qualifying on Sunday, Oct. 15 and concludes a week later with the singles and doubles finals on Sunday, Oct. 22. In addition to previously announced World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and No. 73 Dominic Thiem of Austria, Sinner, former World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, and 2022 finalist Sebastian Korda of the United States as well as Belgian favorite David Goffin are confirmed participants.

Last year’s champion, Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, is not returning to defend his title.

Among the 19 direct acceptances to this year’s tournament are: Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff and Yannick Hanfmann, Borna Coric of Croatia and Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan. There are also seven players from France: Ugo Humbert, Arthur Fils, Gregoire Barrere, Richard Gasquet, Arthur Rinderknech, Luca Van Assche and Quentin Halys.

“In addition to the world’s number five player Stefanos Tsitsipas and Dominic Thiem, we have once again managed to bring top tennis stars to Antwerp,” said tournament director Dick Norman, during remarks at a press conference to reveal this year’s entry list. “Jannik Sinner has climbed to seventh place in the world rankings by winning the top tournament in Toronto in August. Two years ago, he won the final in Antwerp with impressive tennis. He is also extremely popular among Belgian tennis fans.”

Norman said he’s pleased with the arrival of World No. 20 Dimitrov, who “always guarantees entertainment, high-level tennis, and sportsmanship.

“He hopes to do better in Antwerp this year than his semifinal appearance in 2020 and certainly starts as one of the favorites.”

With the 100th-ranked Goffin, who has received a wild card into the main draw, and Belgian teen Gilles-Arnaud Bailly, who made his ATP Tour debut a year ago in Antwerp, Belgium is well represented. Add to the mix Alexander Blockx, who along with Bailly has received a wild card into the qualifying draw.

“We aim for a good mix of young talent and established players in this eighth edition, as has been the successful recipe for the European Open for years,” said Kristoff Puelinckx, CEO of Tennium. “We continue to grow at a rapid pace, and players and sponsors alike feel that they are part of an ambitious whole.”

For ticket information to the European Open, click here.