ANTWERP, August 3, 2016
With still 74 days to go, the entry list of the inaugural edition of the €635,645 European Open held inside the Lotto Arena in Antwerp is beginning to take shape. The tournament’s organizers announced on Tuesday that with US-American Taylor Fritz, Croatian Borna Coric and Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis three youngsters will participate at the ATP 250 event, taking place from 17 to 23 October 2016.
18-year-old Fritz lifted his third trophy on the ATP Challenger Tour at the beginning of the season in Happy Valley before he started to establish himself on the ATP World Tour. He finished runner-up at the Memphis Open, reached the quarterfinals in Acapulco and pushed Roger Federer on the grass in Stuttgart into a third set.
Fellow teenager Coric reached the third round at Roland Garros this year and is no stranger to the Belgians. Earlier this year the Croat helped his team in beating Belgium in the Davis Cup. Like Fritz, the 19-year-old also took the title at the juniors tournament at the US Open.
20-year-old Kokkinakis claimed his first ATP Challenger title in Bordeaux last year, but has been sidelined from the courts since October 2015 with a shoulder injury.
Kristoff Puelinckx, organizer of the European Open, is very excited about the new names. “Next to the international top players, we’ll see a new generation of tennis players at the European Open. We want to create opportunities for new talent. Let’s hope that young Belgian players get inspired by this new generation.”
The trio will join world number 12 David Ferrer, number 13 David Goffin, as well as world number 15 Richard Gasquet, who had announced their participation in Antwerp earlier this season.