Next Gen ATP Finals

Shelbayh's Strong Finish Halts Michelsen

Rising Arab star picks up first win this week
November 29, 2023
Abdullah Shelbayh captures his first win at the Next Gen ATP Finals on Wednesday.
Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Abdullah Shelbayh captures his first win at the Next Gen ATP Finals on Wednesday. By ATP Staff

Wild card Abdullah Shelbayh may be the lowest-ranked man at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM, but the Jordanian showcased his immense potential on Wednesday night.

Entering Jeddah at a career-high of No. 185 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, the 20-year-old downed Alex Michelsen 4-2, 1-4, 4-0, 4-0 to pick up his fourth Top 100 win. After World No. 97 Michelsen levelled the match with a powerful second set, Shelbayh dominated the final two sets by moving his opponent around the court with majestic ball control.

The result moves Shelbayh to 1-1 on the week and puts him in strong position to qualify for the semi-finals out of the Red Group.

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"Having the opportunity to play here now to finish the year, I couldn't ask for a better end to the year," he said post-match. "I appreciate all the support throughout the week that I've been receiving already, of course throughout the year and from the Arab world especially."

Shelbayh thrilled the Jeddah crowd with his shotmaking and tallied 26 winners, including seven aces, in the victory. He will finish his group campaign against Hamad Medjedovic on Thursday, when Michelsen will meet Luca Van Assche.

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