Teen Fils Storms To First Career Title In Lyon, Defeats Cerdundo

by Staff | May 27th, 2023, 3:14 pm
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Add Arthur Fils to the growing list of young stars gaining steam on the ATP circuit. Just 18, the Frenchman stormed past Francisco Cerundolo 7-3, 7-5 to claim his very first title.

Playing in his first final, Fils rode his powerful forehand and aggressive game past the Argentine.

Fils never faced a break point in the first set and then, with the crowd on his side, broke Cerudolo at 5-all and served it out to become the tournament’s youngest champion ever and the youngest champion this year.

“I will remember this forever,” Fils said to the ATP. “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 semifinal 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 but I didn’t maybe expect that I would win the tournament.”

In his semifinal – his third of the season, Fils won a thriller 7-6 in third over Brandon Nakashima. He also benefited from the infamous Mikael Ymer default and a Felix Auger-Aliassime withdrawal, and he upset Zhizheng Zhang in the first round.

The 24-year-old Cerundolo was eyeing his 2nd career title. This was his 3rd career final, first since since Bastad title in 2022.

He is expected to see his ranking jump from No. 118 to 63 in the rankings. He opens play on Monday against Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

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