Sixth seed Hamad Medjedovic comes from a set down to defeat Frenchman Arthur Fils in a monumental five-setter battle to claim the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM title on Saturday in Jeddah.
Serbian Hamad Medjedovic came out on top in the championship match, rallying past top seed Arthur Fils to earn a 3-4(6), 4-1, 4-2, 3-4(9), 4-1 victory after two hours and 11 minutes.
The thrilling final clash became the first to go five sets in the tournament’s six-year history.
After the encounter, the 20-year-old said: “I can’t believe I have won this title, but it’s going to give me a lot of confidence for 2024.”
“Arthur is an amazing player; he’s Top 40 for a reason, so I’m really happy.”
Assessing his performance, he added: “It was tough after the first set. I changed my clothes, recovered, and started to play well again.
“I didn’t play well when I had match points in the fourth set, I wasn’t relaxed, I was very stiff. Thank God, I recovered, and I was just trying to stay relaxed as much as I could, and I managed to do it in the end.”
The first Serbian player to emerge victorious at the world’s top eight 21-and-under singles players event found his best tennis when he needed the most.
After dropping the opener, he regrouped behind his powerful serve, breaking twice to close out the second set while rushing into a 2-1 advantage.
The fourth set saw the 19-year-old Frenchman bounce back, fending off two championship points in the tiebreak to force a decider.
However, the player mentored by Viktor Troicki found a way to halt the World No. 36 late challenge, sealing his triumph at the first ATP-sanctioned event in Saudi Arabia with an ace in the fifth set.
Medjedovic impressive campaign delivered exceptional numbers, hitting 69 aces while holding serve 56 of 58 games in King Abdullah Sports City.
The Gstaad semifinalist advanced to the final without dropping a match all week in Jeddah, prevailing over American Alex Michelsen, second seed Luca Van Assche, and Abdullah Shelbayh, the first player from Jordan to compete at the Next Gen ATP Finals.
On Saturday, he took on Swiss Dominic Stricker, who retired from the semifinal matchup due to injury.
Ranked at World No. 110, he won 89 percent of the first serve points, firing 34 winners (19 aces) and saving all four breakpoints he faced across a contest he took on merit.