Match Report

#NextGenATP Fils Flies Past Bautista Agut In Montpellier

Barrere stuns defending champ Bublik, Ruusuvuori beats Ymer
February 08, 2023
JB Autissier/Panoramic
The 18-year-old Arthur Fils celebrates after defeating World No. 24 Roberto Bautista Agut on Wednesday in Montpellier. By ATP Staff

Arthur Fils’ big game is causing quite a stir this week at the Open Sud de France – Montpellier.

After notching his first ATP Tour victory Monday against three-time champion Richard Gasquet, the #NextGenATP Frenchman delivered another top-class, all-around performance on Wednesday night to take out fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-4 at the indoor ATP 250 event.

“I had one plan… I was playing with no mistakes, a lot of winners, and sometimes a big serve,” said Fils after firing eight aces and converting four of eight break points in his 86-minute second-round win. “I respect him [so much] and I’m really happy about it… I will recover, see my dad, see my coach, and my manager, and then I will sleep!”

The 18-year-old Fils, who lost to Fabio Fognini in three sets on tour-level debut at November’s Rolex Paris Masters, has risen 22 spots to No. 141 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings as a result of his Montpellier run. His opponent in his maiden ATP Tour quarter-final will be fifth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or fellow Frenchman Quentin Halys.

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Like his countryman Fils, Gregoire Barrere also enjoyed an upset victory Wednesday at the Sud de France Arena, where he prevailed 6-4, 6-7(12), 7-6(3) in a dramatic first-round clash to take out defending champion Alexander Bublik.

Despite Barrere letting slip three match points in a second-set tie-break that he ultimately lost, the World No. 75 kept his cool in the decider to seal a hard-earned two-hour, 28-minute win against the third seed. Barrere entered the tournament off the back of lifting his sixth ATP Challenger Tour title in Quimper last week, and his reward for an impressive opening showing in Montpellier is a second-round meeting with Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Earlier on Wednesday, seventh seed Emil Ruusuvuori eased to a 6-4, 6-0 victory against Mikael Ymer to book his second-round spot. It was the pair's second meeting of 2023, after Ymer prevailed in three sets at the Adelaide International 2 in January, but Ruusuvuori converted five out of seven break points in southern France to take a 3-2 lead in his ATP Head2Head series against the Swede.

Jannik Sinner advanced to the quarter-finals after his opponent Marton Fucsovics withdrew from the pair’s second-round clash with a foot injury. The second-seeded Italian, who is chasing his first match win on his third appearance at the indoor hard court event, will play Lorenzo Sonego or Filip Krajinovic in the last eight.

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