Dick Norman, the Tournament Director of the ATP European Open in Antwerp, says that he is looking forward to hosting the event in October after it was confirmed that the tournament is part of the updated provisional ATP calendar that was released a few days ago.
The ATP European Open is scheduled to take place from October 19th this year.
Dick Norman says he is happy that the ATP European Open will be held in October
The ATP Tour is resuming this week in New York with the Western & Southern Open, followed by the US Open in New York.
These will be the first ATP events since the tour shutdown in March due to the global pandemic. According to the RTBF site, Norman says, "We are happy, and we were keen to set up our event. We want to give a signal of hope, a boost to the events sector, and encourage the public to continue playing sport."
The tournament will need to adhere to strict protocols from the ATP Tour, which will include players staying in the same hotel, no contact between the players and the fans for autographs and selfies, and limited contact between players and tournament officials.
Norman adds, "The sponsors have stuck with us, but we have to cut corners this year. This time, it will be a tennis tournament, and not a tennis event. It will not be possible to organize the meetings between the public and the players, nor the festive evenings, nor the Ladies Day, nor the Kids Day."
As of now, Norman hopes that the event will have fans, although in limited numbers which will depend on local regulations at the time of the event. The Belgian also hopes to attract some of the top players for the tournament and will begin talking to the players and their managers in the coming days.
The 49 year old Norman is a former player himself. He reached the fourth round of the men's singles at Wimbledon in 1995 and the finals at the 2009 French Open men's doubles event. The European Open is a men's ATP Tour 250 event that takes place in Antwerp, Belgium and was first held on the ATP tour in 2016.
Previous winners of the ATP European Open include Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2016 and 2017 respectively and British player Kyle Edmund in 2018. Last year, the ATP European Open was won by former World No. 1 Andy Murray, who defeated Swiss star Stan Wawrinka in the final.