Arthur Fils and Luca Van Assche Kick Off Next Gen Finals with Impressive Victories

In JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, the opening of the Next Gen Finals saw Arthur Fils and Luca Van Assche securing victories in the round-robin stage. The tournament, which has found a new home in Saudi Arabia, kicked off with promising performances from the young players.

The French player Fils, 19 and top-seeded, clinched a hard-fought victory of 2-4, 4-3 (6), 4-2, 1-4, 4-2 over Luca Nardi. The Next Gen Finals feature unique rules, with a best-of-five-sets format where the first player to reach four games wins each set, with a tiebreak at 3-3.

In the same green group, Flavio Cobolli emerged victorious with a score of 4-2, 3-4 (7), 4-1, 4-2 against Dominic Stricker.

On the other side, in the red group, 70th-ranked Van Assche triumphed over wild-card entry Abdullah Shelbayh with a score of 4-3 (5), 3-4 (5), 4-1, 4-1. Hamad Medjedovic also showed resilience as he claimed a win against Alex Michelsen with a score of 4-2, 4-3 (3), 3-4 (3), 3-4 (5), 4-3 (4).

This edition of the tournament is the sixth for the top eight ATP Tour players age 21 or younger. It’s the first time it’s being held in Saudi Arabia after being hosted in Milan since its inception in 2017. The tournament also features changes to the traditional tennis rules, including shorter changeovers and less time on the shot clock for certain points.

Fils is the only player in the draw ranked in the top 50. Among the players ranked above him who would be eligible by age, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune are exempt due to their qualification for the ATP Finals. Meanwhile, Ben Shelton is sidelined for medical reasons, and Lorenzo Musetti withdrew for personal reasons.


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