Medjedovic beats Fils in pulsating final to win Next Gen Finals title

The big-hitting Serbian fought back from a set down to come through an epic against Arthur Fils in Jeddah and lift the biggest title of his career so far

Hamad Medjedovic - © Astana Open Hamad Medjedovic – © Astana Open
Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM 2023 Men's Singles •Final • completed
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Hamad Medjedovic has won the 2023 ATP Next Gen Finals title, defeating Arthur Fils 3-4 (6), 4-1, 4-2, 3-4 (9), 4-1 in an epic final well worthy of the showpiece match.

The big-hitting Serbian recovered from the agony of squandering two championship points in a thrilling fourth-set tiebreak to power through the fifth set and lift the biggest title of his young career.

Medjedovic hit 38 winners to just 21 unforced errors as he ultimately outgunned the talented young Frenchman.

But in the tournament’s first final to go to five sets, both players showcased their exciting potential with high-quality tennis worthy of any regular tour-level showpiece match.

gripping final goes the distance for the first time

Fils made the first decisive move by taking the first set on a tight tiebreak. Medjedovic held two set points but could not convert, with his visible frustration handing his opponent the mental advantage which Fils duly maximised to go a set up.

The second and third sets were a different story, however, as Fils found himself outclassed for much of those two stanzas. The Frenchman struggled to cope with the powerful shot-making of his opponent, as Medjedovic fought back for a 2-1 lead.

The fourth played out much like the first, with Fils steadying the ship to take the set to a tiebreak. Again, the Serbian found himself with chances to close out the breaker but could not take either of the two championship points he generated. Once again, Fils took full advantage, seizing upon the mental frailties of Medjedovic to take the tiebreak and gain parity at two sets apiece.

fils unravels in fifth set as medjedovic closes out biggest win of his career

After an extended bathroom break, the Serbian returned to the court a different player, hitting confidently and precisely off both wings to break Fils in the second game of the deciding set.

The Frenchman then unravelled alarmingly quickly, earning himself a point penalty for a second smash of his racquet en route to falling 3-0 behind. Fils was incredulous at the decision, taking aim at the chair umpire for not having heard the initial code violation.

Medjedovic simply needed one more hold to get over the line and he showed no signs of the earlier wobbles when the finish line came into sight in the fourth-set tiebreak, this time impressively serving out the game for the biggest win of his career before falling to the ground in disbelief.

Medjedovic wins his first Next Gen Finals title

“It was tough. After the first set, I went to change my clothes and recovered a bit,” Medjedovic said after the match.

“In the fourth set I had match points. I didn’t play well in these moments, I wasn’t relaxed, I played stiff in these moments.

“Thank God I recovered. I was just trying to focus and stay relaxed as much as I could.”

When asked about his compatriot and mentor, Novak Djokovic, the young Serb replied, “He’s winning the big Masters, the real one I’d say and I’m winning the Next Gen… I’m really happy to be following in his footsteps in some way.”

Fils demonstrated his clear abilities throughout the week in Jeddah, but ultimately fell short against the surprise package of the week in Medjedovic.

Only 20 years old and currently ranked 110th in the world, few would have picked the Serbian as the champion at the start of the week.

But he has displayed some excellent tennis over the course of an unbeaten title-winning run at the Next Gen Finals.

Medjedovic leaves Jeddah as a very worthy champion and has unexpectedly announced himself as a player to follow closely in 2024.

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