The Belgium Open celebrates his 15th anniversary. In 2003 the tournament started under the name Flanders Open. For this edition 380 players from all corners of the world (70 nationalities) are present in De Haan. Belgian top players Cedric Nuytinck and Lisa Lung hope to shine again on the international scene. Today the battle begun in the sports centre Haneveld.
Written by Ivan Crabbe
With 15 players of top-100 in Men’s singles present, the level is very high in De Haan. The Egyptian Omar Assar (WR 29) is the first seed. Belgians Cédric Nuytinck (number 8), Florent Lambiet (number 12) and Robin Devos (number are also ranked amongst the 32 best players of the tournament. “It’s always nice to play in Belgium”, states Nuytinck. “I am looking forward to it. I hope I can reach my best level and go far in the tournament.”
In doubles Robin Devos and Cédric Nuytinck are the first seed. Last year they won silver. “We can aim high in doubles. It has been a while that we played together, so we will have to adapt in the beginning of the tournament.”
World Champion on duty
World champion Laurens Devos is also on duty in Belgium. How far can he go? “The Belgium Open is a higher level dan the World Championships. My goal is to reach the main draw and win a lot of points for my world ranking.”
On the Women’s side there are a lot of top players present, 25 players of the top-100. De Japanese women, with defending champion Saki Shibata as leader, are the main contenders for the title. Opposition can come from Europe with Georgina Pota (Hungary), Matilda Ekholm (Sweden) and Britt Eerland (Netherlands). The Belgian women Lisa Lung, Margo Degraef and Nathalie Marchetti will face stronger opponents and must cause some upsets to get far in the tournament.
The venue of the Belgium Open is sporthal Haneveld (Nieuwe steenweg 74 - 8420 De Haan).
Medals will be given in six events: Men’s singles and doubles, Women singles and doubles and U21 (Men and Women). The main draw starts Thursday. On Friday there are the finals of the U21 and on Saturday the finals in singles and doubles.