Stricker dropped the first set but responded to win the second set. Frenchman Fils eventually sealed a 4-2, 3-4(3), 4-2, 4-3(5) win after one hour and 47 minutes to end the Green Group stage with a perfect 3-0 record.
“I knew before the match [that I had qualified], but I just want to win every match that I’m playing,” said Fils in his on-court interview. “I think I put a little bit more focus out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match, but I’m really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semi-final.”
Stricker has now reached the semi-finals at the 21-and-under event twice, having advanced to the last four 12 months ago. Fils qualified after Nardi defeated Cobolli, who therefore needed Fils to beat Stricker in straight sets.
Top seed Fils is aiming to become the sixth champion at the 21-and-under event, joining Top 10 stars Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 19-year-old will find out who his semi-final opponent is after night session play in Jeddah.
A very high-level performance 👏— Tennis Insights (@tennis_insights) November 29, 2023
Arthur Fils puts on a show @nextgenfinals 📈#PerformanceRating combines #InAttack, #ConversionScore, #StealScore, and #ShotQuality to measure a player's performance over the course of a match#TennisInsights | @atptour |@nextgenfinals pic.twitter.com/YeQDSHsxNY
Earlier this year, Fils lifted his maiden tour-level title in Lyon, while he reached the title match in Antwerp. He is playing at a career-high No. 36 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings this week.
Stricker's best result result in 2023 was a fourth-round run at the US Open.
Physicality Index Insights
The key to this match was Fils making the match physical and pushing Stricker to the higher end of his Physical Intensity rating threshold of 7.5. Fils ended up having a slightly higher PI rating than Stricker, 6.8 vs. 6.7, but Fils made it the more physical when it mattered the most. There was a big difference in the over volume and intensity of work between the forth set tie-break that Fils won and the 2nd set tie-break that he lost. The forth set tie-break had a 42% higher volume and 11% higher intensity of work.