Fils, Medjedovic post wins at Next Gen Finals

Sports

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Arthur Fils and Hamad Medjedovic maintained their winning starts in the round-robin stage of the Next Gen Finals on Wednesday.

The top-seeded, 19-year-old French player Fils defeated Italian player Flavio Cobolli 4-1, 4-2, 4-2, and Medjedovic defeated Fils’ compatriot Luca Van Assche 4-2, 2-4, 4-3 (7), 4-1.

The Next Gen Finals are played using special rules, with a best-of-five-sets format in which each set goes to the player who is first to four games, with a tiebreak at 3-3.

Fils now leads the green group with two wins from two. Dominic Stricker defeated Luca Nardi 4-1, 4-1, 4-2 in the same group for his first victory.

In the Medjedovic-led red group, Jordanian player Abdullah Shelbayh defeated Alex Michelsen of the United States 4-2, 1-4, 4-0, 4-0.

It’s the sixth edition of the tournament for the top eight ATP Tour players aged 21 or under. It’s being held in Saudi Arabia for the first time after being staged in Milan ever since the inaugural edition in 2017. Other changes to the usual tennis rules include shorter changeovers and less time on the shot clock for some points.

Fils is the only one of the players in the draw ranked in the top 50. Of the players ranked above him who would be eligible by age, Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune are exempt because they qualified for the ATP Finals, while Ben Shelton is out for medical reasons and Lorenzo Musetti withdrew on personal grounds.

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