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ECC Antwerp

ECC Antwerp
Defunct tennis tournament
Event name European Champions' Championship (1982-1985)
The European Community Championship (1986-1998)
Tour Invitational/Exhibition (1982–1991)
ATP World Series tournaments (1992-1994)
ATP Championship Series (1996-1997)
ATP International Series Gold (1998)
Founded 1982
Abolished 1998
Location Antwerp, Belgium
Venue Sportpaleis
Surface Carpet (Indoor) (1982-1996)
Hardcourt (1997-1998)

The European Community Championship was a professional tennis tournament held from 1982 until 1998 in Antwerp, Belgium. The tournament was held as a special invitational/exhibition event run outside the Grand Prix series, and not earning any ATP ranking points until 1992, when the tournament became part of the ATP Tour. While an exhibition tournament, invitations were extended to players who won a tournament title in Europe during that year. The surface of the tournament was indoor carpet.

The inaugural event was held in December 1982 offering a $700,000 purse for 24 players field while the high level (Super Series) European Grand Prix events like the Italian Open or indoor tournament in Wembley, London offered only $300,000 and $200,000 respectively.

It was called European Champions' Championship and from 1986 was renamed to European Community Championship (ECC). Its nickname was "Gold Racquet" tournament because if a player won the tournament three times within a 5 year span, he would receive also a special trophy, a life-size, 13.2-pound gold racquet studded with 1,420 diamonds valued at $1,000,000. This inspired the Proximus Diamond Games, a WTA Tour event held in Antwerp since 2002, to have a similar trophy system.

In 1985 Ivan Lendl won his 3rd title within 4 years and received the $200,000 winners prize together with the Gold Racquet. In 1991 Boris Becker spoiled Lendl's quest for a $1.25 million prize ($250,000 prize money plus the $1 million racquet) at the ECC in Antwerp by beating him, 6-4, 7-5, in the semifinals. Had Lendl won, he would have kept the gold-and-diamond racquet trophy valued at about $1 million, adding to his from 1985. He was in the running for a second after victories in 1987 and 1989, but wound up with only $100,000 that year.

Past winners and runner-ups

Year
Date Final
Prize Money
Champion
Runner-up
Score in final
ATP Tour
1998 Feb 23
$1,000,000
23x15px Greg Rusedski 23x16px Marc Rosset 7–6(7–3), 3–6, 6–1, 6–4
1997 Feb 23 <center> $1,000,000 23x16px Marc Rosset 23x15px Tim Henman 6–2, 7–5, 6–4
1996 Feb 19 <center> $1,100,000 23x15px Michael Stich 23x15px Goran Ivanišević 6–3, 6–2, 7–6(7–5)
1995 Not held
1994 Nov 13 <center> $1,100,000 23x15px Pete Sampras 23x15px Magnus Larsson 7–6(7–5), 6–4
1993 Nov 14 <center> $1,100,000 23x15px Pete Sampras 23x15px Magnus Gustafsson 6–1, 6–4
1992 Nov 15 <center> $1,000,000 23x15px Richard Krajicek 23x15px Mark Woodforde 6–2, 6–2
Special / Invitational event
1991 Dec 8 <center> $1,250,000 23x15px Aaron Krickstein 23x15px Boris Becker walkover
1990 Oct 21 <center> $1,100,000 23x15px Goran Ivanišević 23x15px Henri Leconte 6–2, 7–6(8–6), 4–6, 4–6, 6–1
1989 Oct 29 <center> $1,000,000 23x15px Ivan Lendl 23x15px Miloslav Mečíř 6–2, 6–2, 1–6, 6–4
1988 Nov 6 <center> $940,000 23x15px John McEnroe 23x15px Andrei Chesnokov 6–1, 7–5, 6–2
1987 Nov 1 <center> $940,000 23x15px Ivan Lendl 23x15px Miloslav Mečíř 5–7, 6–1, 6–4, 6–3
1986 Nov 10 <center> $940,000 23x15px John McEnroe 23x15px Miloslav Mečíř 6–3, 1–6, 7–6(7–5), 5–7, 6–2
1985 Nov 3 <center> $850,000 23x15px Ivan Lendl 23x15px John McEnroe 1–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2, 6–2
1984 Nov 18 <center> $800,000 23x15px Ivan Lendl 23x15px Anders Järryd 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
1983 Nov 20 <center> $750,000 23x15px John McEnroe 23x15px Gene Mayer 6–4, 6–3, 6–4
1982 Dec 5 <center> $700,000 23x15px Ivan Lendl 23x15px John McEnroe 3–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–3, 6–3

Doubles

Jaar Winner Runner-up Score
1998 23x15px Wayne Ferreira
23x15px Yevgeny Kafelnikov
23x15px Tomás Carbonell
23x15px Francisco Roig
7–5, 3–6, 6–2
1997 23x15px David Adams
23x15px Olivier Delaître
23x15px Sandon Stolle
23x15px Cyril Suk
3–6, 6–2, 6–1
1996 23x15px Jonas Björkman
23x15px Nicklas Kulti
23x15px Yevgeny Kafelnikov
23x15px Menno Oosting
6–4, 6–4
1995 Not held
1994 23x15px Jan Apell
23x15px Jonas Björkman
23x15px Hendrik Jan Davids
23x15px Sébastien Lareau
4–6, 6–1, 6–2
1993 23x15px Grant Connell
23x15px Patrick Galbraith
23x15px Wayne Ferreira
23x15px Javier Sánchez
6–3, 7–6
1992 23x15px John Fitzgerald
23x15px Anders Järryd
23x15px Jared Palmer
23x15px Patrick McEnroe
6–2, 6–2

References