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Fils, Michelsen Share Historic Practice In Jeddah | ATP Tour

Frenchman Arthur Fils and American Alex Michelsen had the honour Friday of opening practice on stadium court at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM, the first ATP-sanctioned event ever held in Saudi Arabia.

Fils and Michelsen are the first two players to arrive for the season-ending 21-and-under event, which will be played at the King Abdullah Sports City from 28 November to 2 December.

“It’s the first time we have practicsed together, so it was very nice and the court is very nice,” said World No. 36 Fils. “The atmosphere during matches is going to be very good and we’re all looking forward to playing the event.

“It’s going to be interesting playing with some new rules, like playing to four games.”

<a href=Alex Michelsen with Arthur Fils.” /> 

As he prepares for the tournament, Michelsen has spent a very different Thanksgiving holiday than he did 12 months ago.

“Last year I was at my grandparents’ house in Orange Country, California and I was around 600 in the world, so this was not on the radar,” said the 19-year-old, who is now at a career-high No. 94 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “A lot has changed in a year.

“It was fun having the first hit with Arthur, who is a really good guy. The court plays nicely, the sound and lights are good and the stadium is sick. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

<a href=Arthur Fils practising Friday in Jeddah.” />

Fils, 19, who was the first player to arrive in Jeddah, says that he and his team have enjoyed the early days of their visit.

“The hotel and food is very nice and everybody has been very kind to me and the team. We’re going to visit the city tomorrow.”

Michelsen added: “We’ve been treated well; it’s been nothing but a good experience so far.”

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