JEDDAH: Frenchmen Arthur Fils defeated Italian Flavio Cobolli 4-1, 4-2, 4-2 in 59 minutes on Wednesday to improve to 2-0 in Green Group play at the Next Gen ATP Finals, here at King Abdullah Sports City.
The Frenchman came out firing his first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with the Italian, out maneuvering Cobolli with his weight and depth of shot to improve to 2-0 in Green Group play. Fils undertook the 'SIU' celebration, associated with football star Cristiano Ronaldo, following his win.
Swiss tennis player Dominic Stricker eased past Italian Luca Nardi 4-1, 4-1, 4-2 with a clean-hitting performance after a disappointing start to his Next Gen ATP Finals.
Having struggled to find his best level in his opening match against Nardi’s countryman Flavio Cobolli, Stricker powered 13 winners, including three aces, and converted four of six break points he earned for a comprehensive 54-minute triumph, the fastest match in tournament history.
“We had a long discussion yesterday evening about how to do it today,” said Stricker in his on-court interview. “I think it was really good that we talked a lot after what maybe wasn’t my best performance. Now to come out today like that, I think nobody expected that. I’m just happy that I did it and now I’m going to try my best to recover for the third group match.”
With a reduced shot clock in place as part of the innovative rules at this edition of the Next Gen ATP Finals, Nardi was unable to stem Stricker’s momentum in the pair’s maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. The Swiss player also crucially saved all four break points he faced, including one at 3-2, 40/40 which also doubled as his own match point.
Now 1-1 in Green Group, the 21-year-old Sticker will next take on top seed Arthur Fils as he chases a second consecutive semi-final appearance at the 21-and-under event. Agencies