A nice handover… In the first round of the ATP 250 tournament in Montpellier, Arthur Fils, 18 years old and 163rd in the world, overcame his compatriot Richard Gasquet, twice his age and a quarter of his ranking (45th).
The Francilien, from Essonne, who remained in two Challenger finals (one won in Oeiras, the other lost in Quimper), disposed of the Héraultais in two sets (7-5, 7-5) .
A small event.
Firstly because Gasquet, six times finalist and three times winner almost at home, had never lost in the 1st round in ten appearances.
Then because the pupil of Laurent Raymond thus won his first success on the main circuit, becoming barely the second player born in 2004 to achieve this performance.
Arthur Fils eliminates Richard Gasquet in the first round of the Open Sud de France!
Gasquet 5️⃣5️⃣ #lequipeTENNIS pic.twitter.com/IYZKOecoRz
– THE TEAM (@lequipe) February 6, 2023
Broken at the start of each set, twice with his back to the wall in the first with double break balls against him, the teenager did not lose his nerve and asserted the power of his forehand.
Son, who reached the final of Roland-Garros juniors in 2021 against Luca Van Assche, confirms his progress in recent months.
During the last Masters 1000 at Bercy, he managed to extricate himself from qualifying by taking out Munar and Fognini before losing against… Fognini (drafted) in the 1st round.
“There is a beautiful generation coming, he explained last month on the FFT website.
And when you see one playing well on his side, it makes others want to.
When I learned that Arthur
(Editor's note: Cazaux)
had won his second Challenger in Nonthaburi, I wanted to do the same.
When I see "Lucho"
(Editor's note: Van Assche)
who is on the table at the Australian Open, I tell myself that I too want to experience these emotions, and that you have to move to get there.
» 300th last November, Fils will be at worst around 150th place next Monday.
In the 2nd round, the winner of the Orange Bowl 2020 will face the Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut, 24th in the world and seeded n°4.