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European Open Antwerp 2023

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European Open Antwerp 2023: A Tennis Spectacle and Its Path to Excellence

The European Open in Antwerp is celebrating its eighth edition, and it has proven once again that it is a tennis spectacle that's hard to miss. With more VIPs, top players, and more than 30.000 spectators, this year's tournament left an indelible mark in the world of tennis. Let's dive into the highlights and challenges that defined this edition.

The Thrilling Finale

The grand finale of the European Open featured an epic battle between Kazakh player Aleksandr Bublik and the French 19-year-old sensation, Arthur Fils. In an exhilarating showdown, Bublik displayed a blend of power and precision that secured his third ATP title, winning in two sets. Fils, who had earlier sent top-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas packing in the semifinals, showcased his immense potential.

Bublik's exceptional serving and precise returns in the first set set the tone for an exciting match, as he secured a break point and took the first set 6-4. The young Fils, having lost the first set, faced an uphill battle and soon conceded his service game in the second set. He struggled to recover, and Bublik's unyielding performance saw him crowned as the champion of the European Open 2023.

In the doubles final, the Tsitsipas brothers, Petros and Stefanos, squared off against Ariel Behar and Adam Pavlasek. Both pairs were eager to seize the title, leading to an exhilarating tiebreak that decided the first set. Behar and Pavlasek secured the tiebreak 7-5, but the Tsitsipas brothers clawed back, taking the match to a super tiebreak. With a score of 10-8 in the super tiebreak, the Tsitsipas brothers celebrated their first doubles title on the ATP tour.

Tournament Growth and Challenges

The European Open in Antwerp has been steadily expanding, attracting not only tennis enthusiasts but also a growing number of VIPs and sponsors. The success of the tournament can be attributed to several factors, including a loyal fan base, early ticket sales, and consistently featuring top-tier players.

To enhance the tournament's experience and foster the growth of tennis in Belgium, organizers have explored various avenues. Initiatives like the NextGen Day, where talented young players and their parents learn from seasoned experts, have garnered significant attention and positive feedback.

Yet, the tournament's success comes with its unique set of challenges. The surge in ticket demand, particularly for the final days, highlights the need for careful management of ticket availability. Additional seating was added to accommodate the influx of requests, emphasizing the enduring popularity of the European Open.

A more pressing concern is the emergence of 'courtsiders' or in Dutch 'gokhulpjes,' individuals who transmit live match scores to aid gamblers by gaining a few seconds' advantage over referees. This disturbing trend has prompted organizers to maintain a blacklist of known 'courtsiders' and deploy a team dedicated to audience screening. Their goal is to uphold the integrity of the sport and maintain fair play.

Despite these challenges, the European Open remains a tennis spectacle that captivates fans, sponsors, and players alike. With dedicated efforts and the support of various stakeholders, the tournament continues to shine and promises an even more remarkable edition in 2024.

Broadcast and Global Audience

The European Open Final garnered significant attention, especially in the northern part of Belgium, with a substantial viewership of 147.895 live on VRT/Sporza.

Additionally, the tournament extended its reach beyond Belgium, with coverage on Ziggo Sports in the Netherlands and Sky (UK), was the exclusive broadcaster for the ATP tournament, provided live television and streaming coverage behind paywall, ensuring that tennis enthusiasts worldwide could follow the action.

As the European Open in Antwerp looks to the future, it is clear that it will remain a mainstay of the international tennis calendar, offering thrilling matches and enduring challenges for years to come.

Sources: DeMorgen,, HLN

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