Arthur Fils is the latest teenager to break into the top 100 on the ATP Tour and he did it with an impressive display of tennis which he produced to beat Francisco Cerundolo in the final of the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon event held at the Parc de la Tete d’Or Velodrome in the city of Lyon.
Today I came onto court with not lots of energy, but I was focused on my game and trying my best Arthur Fils
Fils, 18, became the youngest champion in the tournament’s short history following his 6-3 7-5 defeat of Cerundolo in what proved to be a thrilling final.
The French teenager, playing courtesy of a wild card, reached the title round having played only two matches in the week as he benefited from one of his opponent’s disqualification and a walkover from the top-seed to protect a shoulder strain prior to the French Open which starts on Sunday.
He showed impressive form when he battled over nearly three hours to defeat American Brandon Nakashima in three sets in the semi, holding his nerve in the deciding tie-break.
And Fils continued to display his aggressive style throughout the one-hour, 36-minute final to dismiss the more experienced Argentine in straight sets.
Again, it was his ability to control his emotions and his focus which he showed during the second set by bouncing back from dropping his serve and then crucially in the 11th game claiming a second break which proved decisive, clinching victory by holding his serve in front of a very appreciative and vocal home crowd.
“I will remember this forever,” Fils said.
“It has been a great week. It has been amazing. I am happy with the win and now I want more. It was a tough semi-final match. Today I came onto court with not lots of energy, but I was focused on my game and trying my best.
“I was feeling that I was playing well earlier [this week] but I didn’t maybe expect that I would win the tournament,” he added after becoming the third French winner of the ATP 250 event following in the footsteps of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2017) and Benoit Paire (2019).
Disappointment for Cerundolo who was aiming to win the second title of his career and become the first Argentine to win the event.
Meanwhile in Geneva, there was an equally interesting ending with the underdog emerging as the champion, namely Chile’s Nicolas Jarry who defeated the experienced Bulgarian, the fourth seeded Grigor Dimitrov, 7-6(1) 6-1 for his third tour-level title and second of the season.
In a dominant performance, Jarry’s power proved too much for Dimitrov over the 96-minute encounter.
“I feel amazing,” Jarry said on the ATP website. “It has been a great year. After all the work with my team and family we are having a great year and I am very happy for that. It is very special. Two finals, one title here. I am very happy.”
Jarry, who lifted the trophy in Santiago in March, upset former Geneva champions Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev en route to his second final in Geneva.