Hamad Medjedovic defeated top-seeded Arthur Fils to win the Next Gen Finals title match on Saturday, after wasting two match chances. It was the first five-set final, in the six tournament editions. In two hours and eleven minutes, Medjedovic defeated Fils 3-4 (6), 4-1, 4-2, 3-4 (9), 4-1, despite missing the opportunity to win it in four.
In his quest to become the first Serbian to win the competition for the top eight players aged 21 or under, 20-year-old Medjedovic did not lost a single match. Also read: Rafael Nadal Comeback: Tennis Arena Turns into a Boxing Ring
After being contested in Milan since its inception in 2017, the event was staged in Saudi Arabia for the first time.
The organizers also incorporated shorter sets, shorter changeovers, and reduced shot clock time for specific points into the standard tennis rules.
“I can’t believe I have won this title, but it’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024”, said Medjedovic, the lowest-ranked champion yet at No. 110. Also read: Reaching New Heights: Veronika Kudermetova Claims Second Title at Toray Pan Pacific Open
This year in Lyon, the 36th-ranked Fils became the first Frenchman to win an ATP tournament in almost 20 years. Under the guidance of Serbia Davis Cup captain Viktor Troicki, Medjedovic won three Challenger events this year and advanced to the tour’s quarterfinals in Gstaad and Astana. Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, and Stefanos Tsitsipas are previous Next Gen winners.