ANTWERP, September 20, 2016
Steve Darcis and Joris De Loore have received the first two wild cards into the main draw of the inaugural European Open, held from 17 to 23 October 2016 inside the Lotto Arena in Antwerp.
The news was announced by Belgium’s top ranked player David Goffin (ATP number 14) at a press conference at the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom) on Monday. Darcis and De Loore were shining during the Davis Cup match against Brazil last weekend, helping to avoid the Belgian team being relegated after their superb run to the final in 2015.
De Loore captured three titles on the ITF Pro Circuit this season and finished runner-up to Daniil Medvedev at the St. Remy Challenger one week ago. The world number 191 from Brugge will appear in his maiden ATP World Tour tournament.
“Johan (Van Herck) told me the news last Saturday,” said a delighted De Loore. “I’m going to give everything and I see this chance as a unique opportunity. It is my first ATP tournament so I can gain a lot of experience. Hopefully a lot of fans will be present. “
Darcis lifted two ATP Challenger trophies in 2016, winning the tournamets in Lyon and Trnava. The former world number 44 is on his way back into the top 100, currently being ranked at 119th position.
“I have worked hard during the recent months and I hope to be back at the top 100 at the end of the season, so I can play at the main draw of the Australian Open,” Darcis told.
The two will now join Goffin, who will step into action on Thursday 20 October at the ATP 250 event. A third wildcard will be awarded last minute. After the press conference, the three Belgian top-players hit some balls with Mayor Bart De Wever on a tennis court especially built for the occasion.