World No. 528 Bergs Stuns Ramos-Vinolas In Antwerp: 'Those Are Things I Live For'
World No. 528 Zizou Bergs pulled the stunner of the week on Tuesday evening at the European Open, battling past Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 7-5 in his first tour-level match. To say the 21-year-old was excited would be a major understatement.
“I’m definitely a guy who loves emotions. I have amazing friends, amazing family and I’m playing at home in Belgium, in Antwerp,” Bergs said. “I just love the emotions. I love screaming it out. I love to see [the fans’] reactions. It’s just really why I want to play tennis, because I like the atmosphere… those are things that I live for. It’s the way I want to play, it’s the way I want to enjoy the games and it’s my nature, so I just love the atmosphere.”
Bergs was comfortable with his draw, despite Ramos-Vinolas having 459 more tour-level matches’ worth of experience. The Belgian felt he would have time to play his aggressive style against Ramos-Vinolas.
Although this was his first ATP Tour main draw match, he had played qualifying at the European Open on three previous occasions, facing Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Two years ago, he had two match points against Auger-Aliassime before succumbing in a final-set tie-break.
“Today I proved that I took the experience from the past times and I just kept fighting,” Bergs said. “Eventually things turned my way. It was very nice.”
Bergs saved two set points on his serve in the second set before Ramos-Vinolas, the 2017 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist, served at 5-4 to force a decider. The Belgian, who has climbed as high as World No. 386, showed no fear of the moment, crushing a forehand winner to get back on serve. He never looked back.
“I think it was a great game. I knew I could play his level. I was training really good,” Bergs said. “Sometimes I was a bit surprised when I was playing the big guys in training how good in points it was with [my] results. The belief came and I was full of confidence. Although the results lately were not what I wanted in other tournaments, but I knew the level was there and I was actually very confident I could win today.”
The home favourite will try to continue his run when he challenges third seed Karen Khachanov in the second round.