The Frenchman Arthur Fils and the American Alex Michelsen have had the honor of opening this Friday the stadium that will host the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM to train, in what will be the first ATP tournament to be held in Saudi Arabia.
Fils and Michelsen were the first two players to reach this end-of-season Under-21 tournament, which will take place at the King Abdullah Sports City from November 28 to December 2.
“It’s the first time we trained together, so it was very good and the track is very nice,” said world No. 36 Fils. “The atmosphere during the games is going to be good and we are looking forward to playing the tournament.”
“It’s going to be interesting to play with new rules, like playing four games,” he added.
Fils, who at 19 years old was the first player to land in Jeddah, points out that both he and his team have enjoyed a few days before visiting.
“The hotel and the food are very good and everyone has been very kind to me and the team. We are going to visit the city tomorrow.
For his part, Michelsen added that “they have treated us well, so far it has been a good experience.”
Before the tournament arrives, Michelsen has had a very different Thanksgiving holiday than twelve months ago.
“Last year I was at my grandparents’ house in Orange Country, California, and I was around 600th in the world,” acknowledged the 19-year-old American, who is now in the highest position of his career as No. 94 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “A lot has changed in one year.”
“It was fun playing for the first time with Arthur, who is a great kid. The track is very good, the sound, the lights are great and the stadium is spectacular. It is going to be very fun”.