Fils Earns Win On Debut In Antwerp

  • Posted: Oct 18, 2023

Fils Earns Win On Debut In Antwerp

Van de Zandschulp overcomes Stricker

Arthur Fils is up and running at the European Open in Antwerp.

The Frenchman overcame Estonia wild card Mark Lajal 7-6(4), 7-6(2) on Wednesday to reach his fifth tour-level quarter-final of the season after one hour and 59 minutes.

In a tight clash, Fils was impressive in the crucial moments, saving all eight break points he faced to earn victory on his debut at the ATP 250 hard-court event.

Fils, who is currently fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Jeddah, has enjoyed a breakthrough season on Tour, highlighted by his first ATP Tour title in Lyon in May. The 19-year-old will continue the quest for his second trophy when he takes on Juan Pablo Varillas after the Peruvian defeated Alexander Shevchenko 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The 20-year-old Lajal clinched his first tour-level win in the first round against Jaume Munar.

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In other action, Botic van de Zandschulp moved past #NextGenATP Swiss Dominic Stricker 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3 to reach the second round at a tour-level event for the 12th time this season.

The Dutchman hammered two aces and saved both break points he faced to advance in two hours and 17 minutes. With his win, Van de Zandschulp levelled his Lexus ATP Head2Head series against Stricker at 1-1. The World No. 67 will next take on top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP 250.

Nuno Borges also advanced, beating Dominik Koepfer 7-6(6), 6-4. The Portuguese, who reached the final at an ATP Challenger Tour event last week, will play Maximilian Marterer in the second round.

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