Journey to Jeddah: Fils, Stricker, and more ready for ATP's Next Gen showdown

November 12, 2023

Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — In a notable development, Arthur Fils, Dominic Stricker, Luca Van Assche, and Flavio Cobolli have officially qualified for the highly anticipated Next Gen ATP Finals.

Additionally, Abdullah Shelbayh has been granted a wild card for the innovative 21-and-under event, scheduled to take place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.

Nineteen-year-old Frenchman Fils has made significant strides on the ATP Tour this season, starting the year at No. 251 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and currently standing at World No. 36.

Fils secured his maiden tour-level title in Lyon and reached the final match in Antwerp last month. With notable semifinal runs in Montpellier, Marseille, and Hamburg, Fils is poised to make his debut in Jeddah.

Another talented French player, Luca Van Assche, will join the lineup at the Next Gen ATP Finals, having qualified for the event for the first time.

The 19-year-old has clinched two ATP Challenger Tour titles this year, with a notable quarterfinal appearance at the ATP 500 in Hamburg.

Swiss left-hander Dominic Stricker, making his second appearance at the 21-and-under event, continues his development this season.

The 21-year-old reached the semifinals last year and achieved a notable fourth-round run at the US Open, propelling him into the Top 100 for the first time.

Flavio Cobolli, the 21-year-old Italian, secured his spot in Jeddah with a standout performance towards the end of the year.

Winning an ATP Challenger Tour title in Lisbon in August and making finals in Romania and Italy in recent weeks, Cobolli currently holds the World No. 100 position, having reached the quarterfinals in Munich in April.

Shelbayh makes history as the first Jordanian player to compete at the Next Gen ATP Finals, earning a wild card.

The 19-year-old achieved tour-level victories in Banja Luka and Metz this season and notably became the first player from Jordan to win an ATP Challenger Tour title in Charleston in October.

Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune, currently competing at the Nitto ATP Finals, are exempt from the Next Gen event.

Unfortunately, Ben Shelton and Lorenzo Musetti have withdrawn due to medical and personal reasons, respectively.

The upcoming sixth edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals is scheduled to take place at the King Abdullah Sports City from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.

Tickets to witness the sport's emerging stars are now available for purchase, marking the beginning of a festival of international sport in Jeddah, with the America’s Cup and FIFA Club World Cup following in December.

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