Tennis: Gilles-Arnaud Bailly is the world junior number 1
The young tennis player has been at the top of the world junior rankings since November 2022. This is a first for a Belgian in ten years!
Gilles-Arnaud Bailly is affiliated with TC Visé (province of Liège) and also trains at the Wilson Tennis Academy in Hasselt, as does Elise Mertens, the female Belgian player who has been the world number one doubles player.
The native of Bilzen (province of Limburg) was a finalist in last year's junior championships at the French Open and the US Open. He also won the European U18 title in Klosters, Switzerland in August 2022 and has six junior titles, including two Grade 1 titles last year.
Last October, he played his very first match in an ATP tournament at the European Open in Antwerp, holding out for more than three hours in the first round against David Goffin, who finally won in three sets - 7-6 (9/7), 5-7, 6-4.
He is the first Belgian to lead the men's world junior rankings since Kimmer Coppejans, who became number 1 in July 2012 after winning the French Open. In the girls' category, Kirsten Flipkens was the world number one junior player in 2003 and 2004.
The young Gilles-Arnaud Bailly has his feet firmly on the ground and is aware of his potential, although he doesn't let it go to his head despite his recent success. In the past, many junior champions have failed to confirm their status on the professional circuit.
The future of Belgian tennis seems to be in good hands as we can also count on Alexander Blockx, the recent winner of the junior boys' championship at the Australian Open.