Mens 29 Oct 2023

French teenage super-talent expects to excite at ASB Classic

by ASB Classic
French teenage super-talent expects to excite at ASB Classic

The hottest teen in men’s world tennis, Frenchman Arthur Fils, is heading to New Zealand for January’s ASB Classic.

The 19-year-old, now risen to 38in the world on the ATP rankings, is the highest ranked teenager and currently ranked fifth in the Next Gen (21 years and under) listing.

Since turning professional two years ago, Fils has jumped over 600 spots in the world rankings, and more than 200 places this year.

The athletic 185mm teen broke into the top 100 in May this year after becoming the youngest Frenchman to win an ATP Tour event since Gael Monfils, with his title in Lyon.

He pushed into the top 50 in August after making the semifinal in Hamburg following his win over Casper Ruud. He then featured in Team Europe in the latest edition of the Laver Cup in Vancouver and celebrated his first call in the French Davis Cup team.

Since his efforts at Roland Garros in 2021, where he reached the boys final and won the boys doubles, his game has been on the ascendancy.

The French sensation has been lured to New Zealand after speaking to 2023 ASB Classic champion and compatriot, Richard Gasquet.

“He said it was a great tournament, a great crowd and so I am looking forward to these moments and feel at home there will mean so much,” said Fils.

“I have heard it is an impressive tournament. It will be my first time in New Zealand and Australia. I will see with the good weather, the good crowd - it will be a nice moment and I will try my best.”

Fils is now 19-15 for the season including wins over two top-10s and a tally including his maiden ATP Tour crown in Lyon in May, and runner-up to Alexander Bublik in the final at ATP Antwerp along with semifinals in Hamburg, Marseille and Montpellier.

ASB Classic Tournament Director, Nicolas Lamperin said the tournament has a reputation for providing opportunity for players on the rise, and to give opportunity for kiwi fans to follow tomorrow’s stars today.

“Arthur fits that group. He is a very exciting young French player who has risen in the rankings extremely quickly with a bright career ahead of him,” said Lamperin.

“He is already a sought-after young player who has impressed with his shot-making but also his attitude. He is an extremely likeable young player with a great attitude. Arthur is sure to attract plenty of fans in Auckland.”

The French teen says he has some big goals in the sport.

“My goal in tennis is to enjoy every moment. On the court to smile in every match I am playing, to try my best to win some great moments and to be high in the rankings. I want to try my best and I have some big goals here.”

While Fils has major goals to achieve on the court in 2024 starting in Auckland, he wants to take on some other challenges while he is in the city.

“I have been told that our hotel is where the bungy is. If I can jump off the building, then really, I will do that for sure.”