An 18-year-old Arthur Fils played his fifth ATP tournament at home in Lyon. The young Frenchman entered the main draw with a wild card and went all the way to lift his first ATP title! A teenager became the youngest French ATP champion since Gael Monfils in Sopot 2005, gathering a massive boost ahead of Roland Garros.
Fils faced Francisco Cerundolo in the title clash and scored a 6-3, 7-5 victory in an hour and 36 minutes, adding 250 ATP points to his tally and cracking the top-65. Arthur has played great tennis at home this season, reaching a Challenger final and two ATP semi-finals before lifting his first ATP trophy in Lyon.
The youngster made the difference with his first serve. He lost serve two times and turned 45% of the return points into four breaks, enough to carry him over the top. They traded four breaks at the start of the second set, and Fils grabbed another in the closing stages to emerge at the top and become the youngest French ATP champion in nearly 18 years!
Arthur Fils claimed his first ATP title in Lyon.
Cerundolo served better in the encounter's first stages but could not create break chances. Fils stepped in on the return in the sixth game and earned three break chances after Cerundolo's loose forehand.
The Argentine hit a double fault on the first to drop serve and fall 4-2 behind. Arthur cemented the lead with a service winner in game seven and served for the set at 5-3. The home favorite created three set points with an ace and cracked a backhand down the line winner on the first for 6-3 after 35 minutes.
Francisco saved a break chance at the start of the second set with a forehand winner and held for 1-0. He got broken in games three and five and pulled them back in the next games to remain in touch. Fils went for a serve & volley on a break point in game four and netted a volley to bring the opponent back to 2-2.
The young gun moved 3-2 up after Cerundolo's forehand error and wasted a game point in the next one. The Argentine broke back for 3-3 and produced comfortable holds in games seven and nine to open a 5-4 gap. Arthur delivered a hold at love in game ten and sent the pressure to the other side.
Francisco squandered two game points in game 11 and hit a double fault on the second break point to find himself 6-5 behind. Fils served for the title in the 12th game and earned two match points after an impressive defense.
The Frenchman sealed the deal on the first to celebrate his first ATP title at 18, right ahead of his home Major!
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