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Medjedovic & Fils Among #NextGenATP Stars in 2023
The 2023 season was a breakthrough year for a host of #NextGenATP stars, with Arthur Fils and Hamad Medjedovic earning standout wins at tour-level events.
From Top 10 victories, to career-high Pepperstone ATP Rankings, ATPTour.com looks back at the brightest young prospects of 2022.
Arthur Fils, 19 years old
Arthur Fils started the season outside the Top 250 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings but peaked at a career-high No. 36 in October after reaching the final in Antwerp, where he defeated Top 10 star Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Frenchman’s standout highlight came on home soil in Lyon in May, when he won his first tour-level title. He was the youngest champion on the ATP Tour in 2023.
"I will remember this forever," Fils said after triumphing in Lyon. "It has been amazing. I am happy with the win and now I want more.”
Fils’ breakthrough season started from day one. He won his first nine matches of the year on the ATP Challenger Tour, including a title run in Oeiras. In February, he made the most of opportunities to play at home, reaching the tour-level semi-finals in Montpellier and Marseille.
He finished the season as strongly as he started, reaching the title match at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM in the first ATP-sanctioned event in Saudi Arabia.
Hamad Medjedovic, 20 years old
Twelve months ago, not many fans would have heard of Hamad Medjedovic. Today his name will be on many people’s radar after he ended his season by becoming the sixth champion at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM. The Serbian blitzed through the field in Jeddah to become an undefeated champion in Saudi Arabia, taking home a tournament-record $514,000 in prize money.
The 20-year-old, who is coached by former World No. 12 Viktor Troicki, received messages of support from Novak Djokovic throughout the event. The World No. 1 has financially supported Medjedovic through the early stages of his blossoming career.
“He’s been helping me out financially, giving me courts, coaches, whatever I need for my career. He’s helped me a lot for sure,” Medjedovic said earlier this season. “Anything a professional tennis player needs, he covered it all. He paid for it. It’s been helpful. He just helped me out when I needed it and he’s still helping me out in all types of ways. I’m glad he’s there for me.”
Earlier this season Medjedovic reached tour-level semi-finals in Gstaad and Astana, while he clinched three ATP Challenger Tour titles.
“The season together [with Troicki] has been good,” Medjedovic said in November. “The first four or three months I was struggling a little bit. It took time to start doing what we were working on during pre-season. After a couple of months, it all clicked. I played well in India in February. I made my first semis after a long time and then everything started going better. I also played in the semi-finals in Gstaad. It was a big thing for me, beating a couple of players from the Top 100.”
Luca Van Assche, 19 years old
Luca Van Assche joins Arthur Fils as one of France’s most promising talents. The 19-year-old is a clean ball striker and played with courageous determination on court throughout 2023 to earn standout results.
Van Assche, who reached the semi-finals at the Next Gen ATP Finals, won consecutive Challenger Tour crowns in February and captured the first tour-level win of his career in Estoril, where he beat Pedro Sousa. The Frenchman won a set against Novak Djokovic in Banja Luka and reached tour-level quarter-finals in Hamburg (ATP 500) and Metz (250). He also advanced to the second round at his home Slam, Roland Garros, where he won the 2021 boys’ singles crown.
“Two years ago, I was like 1,000-something so I don’t think I would’ve expected to be Top 100 now,” Van Assche said in April. “Last year, I was like 400. I was not expecting this maybe a year or two ago. It was very fast. Of course I was dreaming about it. I’m very proud and I just want to be even better now.”
He ended the season at No. 90, having reached a career-high No. 63 earlier this year.
Dominic Stricker, 21 years old
Possessing a thunderous game, Dominic Stricker reached new heights in 2023.
Stricker, who is a two-time Next Gen ATP Finals competitor, enjoyed a consistent year up until September. He won two Challenger Tour events and earned his maiden major main draw win at Wimbledon. However, he hit the big time in ‘The Big Apple’, advancing to the fourth round at the US Open.
The Swiss stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas after firing 78 winners in a five-set, second-round thriller that lasted four hours, 10 minutes. It was the deep run at Flushing Meadows that propelled Stricker into the Top 100 for the first time on 11 September. The 21-year-old became the youngest Swiss to reach the milestone since 20-year-old Stan Wawrinka did so in 2005.
“I feel better on court than I did last year. I feel like my game has improved again,” Stricker told ATPTour.com in August. “I'm also getting fitter body-wise, so that helps for sure. I think off court everything got a bit more serious. I'm also working maybe a little bit harder than I did before. I think everything is more professional than it was and that helps me for sure.”
The lefty earned another Top 10 victory in October, with this triumph coming in front of Stricker’s home crowd, upsetting Casper Ruud in Basel. Stricker closed the season with a second consecutive semi-final appearance at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM.
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