Player Features

Fils Reveals Action-Packed Plans For Post-Tennis Career

Frenchman is top seed in Jeddah
December 01, 2023
Arthur Fils tests his speed in Jeddah.
Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Arthur Fils tests his speed in Jeddah. By Sam Jacot

At the close of a standout season in which he won his first ATP Tour title in Lyon, Arthur Fils entered the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM at a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 36.

But what is the 19-year-old like off the court? caught up with the Jeddah top seed for a Q&A that covered his post-tennis career plans, his favourite sports and a holiday adventure.

If you could have dinner with three people, who would they be and why?
Cristiano Ronaldo first, because for me he’s the best footballer who exists in the world. I would say also Michael Jordan, because I’ve watched him a lot. And, third, I’m going to say The Rock. 

So you'd say Ronaldo is better than Messi?
For me, yeah. My coach, Sergi Bruguera, loves Messi. So we have a little fight about it.

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If you weren’t a tennis player, what job would you want and why?
An actor, for sure. That’s what I'm going to do after my career, for sure. Action movies, like Michael B. Jordan.

If you had to choose between attending a music concert or a sporting event, what would you choose and why?
Sports. I don't like to go to concerts. To be in the crowd and jumping, I don’t like it. If I'm going, I have to be sitting. Of course I enjoy with friends and everything. But to jump and to be close with all the people in the crowd, that’s not something that I like. And I love sports.

What sports would you want to watch?
Soccer for sure. I support PSG. And probably basketball. I would also love to try Formula 1, in the paddock.

What is one of the most interesting things you have done in your life?
I went swimming with dolphins two weeks ago, in Mauritius. I’d never been to Mauritius for a holiday, so I swam with dolphins.

How well do you know the other competitors here in Jeddah? Are you good friends with anyone?
I'm very close to Luca Van Assche because we've played since we were very young together. So Luca, and the other guys here are very nice… Alex Michelsen, Abdullah Shelbayh. Everyone is very nice. We have some good times and we are enjoying it.

Like every year at the Next Gen ATP Finals, the tournament will be trialling a lot of different rules and innovations. What are your thoughts on them? Is there one that you're interested to try out?
No warm-ups. It’s going to be good or very bad. I don't know if it’s possible to come on the court without a warm-up. You don't play, you don't hit one ball. So first serve, maybe you're going to frame the ball or double fault. Some guys are going to be very good, and probably some others are going to be broken every time in the first game. Let's see.

Is there another rule that you're more excited about?
The free fan movement. I will love to see. I heard that it's not behind us and in front of us, just on the side, so this should be good. It's nice because it's like in basketball and American football or soccer. It’s quite nice. We'll see how it is.

You've had a great season, including winning your first ATP Tour title in Lyon. What is the biggest thing you learned from this year?
Never quit, because things can change very quickly. I would say that's the biggest thing that I've learned this year. I've played some matches and things were changing so quick, my opponent or I didn’t quit, and it was a great match, and we are enjoying playing this type of match. So never quit.

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