It was a French affair on the ATP Tour and Challenger Tour this week. And Arthur Fils was following the outcomes of his countrymen Arthur Cazaux and Richard Gasquet, who have been competing for titles on the opposite facet of the world.

Set to play in his first Challenger remaining in Oeiras, the 18-year-old Fils had seen the outcomes from Cazaux, who gained the Nonthaburi Challenger on Saturday and Tour-veteran Gasquet, who collected the title on the ATP 250 in Auckland. He used that as inspiration to say a title of his personal in Portugal.

“I noticed Luca [Van Assche] win the Maia Challenger not that way back, I noticed that in a single day Arthur Cazaux did it, I noticed that Richard Gasquet did it immediately. I stated, ‘Okay you need to win this one!’” Fils stated, whereas cracking fun throughout his post-match press convention.

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Fils, who loved a standout junior profession, hopes to be a part of France’s subsequent crop of nice gamers. In 2021, he was a finalist on the Roland Garros boys’ singles occasion, solely shedding to countryman Luca Van Assche, who earned his maiden Challenger title in December. That very same yr, Fils teamed with shut buddy Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard to seize the Roland Garros boys’ doubles crown.

Following his triumph in Portugal, Fils joined an unique listing of French Challenger champions aged 18 and beneath: Gasquet, Sebastien Grosjean, Gael Monfils, Fabrice Santoro, Corentin Moutet, and Van Assche. Now at a career-high 195 within the Pepperstone ATP Reside Rankings, Fils is the primary teenage Challenger champion of 2023 and the youngest French participant within the High 200.

After dropping only one set all week on the indoor arduous courtroom occasion, together with ousting high seed Ricardas Berankis, the French teen was requested what he’ll bear in mind most about this week in Oeiras. Fils joked, “I’ll keep in mind that I misplaced one set and it was 0-6! However no, I’ll bear in mind the ultimate and the nice ambiance.”


It’s been practically 40 years since a Frenchman gained a Grand Slam (Yannick Noah, 1983 Roland Garros). Whereas the European nation has had many constant professionals since, Fils is hoping the four-decade drought doesn’t final for much longer.

“It was robust for Tsonga, Monfils, and Gasquet as a result of they got here in the identical era as Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, they gained all the pieces,” Fils stated. “Possibly when Nadal and Djokovic retire, we could have extra alternatives to win a Grand Slam.”

Maybe the subsequent nice French tennis champion is at the moment making progress on the Challenger Tour.

Arthur Fils triumphs on the Challenger 75 occasion in Oeiras, Portugal.” />

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