ANTWERP, October 23, 2016
Richard Gasquet is the champion of the inaugural European Open, winning 7-6, 6-1 over Argentine Diego Schwartzman in Sunday’s final, held inside the Lotto Arena in Antwerp.
The third seed from France won 88 per cent of his first service points and capitalized on three of his six break point opportunities to prevail in one hour and 29 minutes.
“It was a tough match, especially in the first set when I was leading 5-4 40/0 on my serve. It was important for me to win the tie-break and I took a lot of confidence into the second set. It was a great match for me and I was the favourite to win, so it’s important for me,” told Gasquet, whose victory in Montpellier made him the second-most decorated French ATP player behind Yannick Noah (23 titles), now claiming his 14th title from his third final of the season.
“I’m very happy with the week. All the matches were tough and there were a lot of great players here. It’s always nice to have a title.”
Schwartzman was bidding for his second ATP World Tour title in his second final. He captured his maiden title on the clay of Istanbul, when he defeated Grigor Dimitrov earlier this year.
“I am happy because the week was really good for me. I played a great first set and fought back. The tie-break was really close. Richard improved a lot in the second set and played really well.
“It’s my second final of the year and my first on indoor hard courts. I’ve improved a lot. It’s really nice for me. I stayed focused.”
Nestor And Roger-Vasselin Triumph In Doubles Competition
Later the day, Daniel Nestor of Canada and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin upset the tournament’s number one pair Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, winning 6-4, 6-4 to claim the doubles title. The encounter lasted 69 minutes.
“Anti-inflammatories, good partners. At this point in my career, whenever somebody asks me to play, I say yes,” joked Nestor about what still keeps him having success at age 44. “Eddie and I have always played well together, so we tried to take the opportunity.”
“Benneteau didn’t want to play this week, so I had to find a different partner. I saw Daniel last week and he knew I was looking for someone. It was a great week,” Roger-Vasselin added.
It was Nestor’s 91st career tour-level crown and No. 13 for Roger-Vasselin. Despite losing the final, Herbert and Mahut extend their slim lead over Jamie Morray and Bruno Soares to 155 points in the ATP Race for team number one.