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Fils closing in on top 100: “I have no limits”

Fils is into an ATP tour semi-final for the first time in his young career

Arthur Fils Arthur Fils (JB Autissier/Panoramic)

This is the story of a meteoric rise! The world No 619 just one year ago, Arthur Fils, 18, is now knocking on the door of the Top 100. A semi-finalist in an ATP tournament, at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, for the first time in his career, the Frenchman is 117th in the live rankings, and could even be one of the top 100 players in the world if he lifts the trophy on Sunday.

That’s the goal, as he said in his post-match interview on court.

“See you Sunday!” Fils told the Montpellier crowd. The 18-year-old has yet to lose a set all week and has been on fire at the Open Sud de France. When asked in a press conference about his progress, the Frenchman did not hesitate to explain his feelings.

“I don’t think I have any limits. You just have to work hard, so I work and the results and progress come. I have what it takes to get high enough and fast enough. I don’t get carried away and my family helps me keep my head on straight. I hope to reach the top 100 as soon as possible. I’m very happy.”

Fils playing his best tennis

Fils is off to the best season start in his career with a victory in the Challenger tournament in Oeiras, Portugal, followed by a final in Quimper, also in a Challenger, before this first semi-final on the ATP circuit. With 12 victories and only one loss in 2023, and the feeling of having turned a corner, the Frenchman doesn’t hide the fact that he has never played so well.

“I haven’t overplayed since the beginning, I manage the important moments and the complicated ones well. Before, I used to try a lot of impossible things on the court, now it’s better. I had a very good start to the season, I played well in Portugal and Quimper, here too, I am on a positive spiral. I think I’m playing my best tennis.

“I have the physical qualities to defend well, it’s something I’ve worked on a lot over the last four years. Having a good balance between offence and defense is what the best do best.”

He will have the opportunity to rub shoulders with one of the best players in the world, Jannik Sinner, on Saturday in the semi-final in Montpellier. A win over the world No 17 would propel him into yet another dimension.

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