Before even entering the professional circuit and becoming a global icon, Roger Federer had a brilliant career even as a junior. In addition to having won Wimbledon, the Basel phenomenon has taken away the satisfaction of winning the prestigious Orange Bowl, defined by many as the 5th Grand Slam of the junior circuit.
The tournament is held in the Under 16 and Under 18 categories for both men and women. Several prominent names appear in the palmarés of the event, among which - in addition to the aforementioned Federer - Andrey Rublev, Dominic Thiem and Bernard Tomic stand out.
New champion Arthur Fils hopes to emulate the exploits of the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who first made himself known to the world for the first time 22 years ago. During a long interview with Tennis Actu, the Frenchman expressed all his admiration for legends of the caliber of Federer and Nadal.
The Swiss and the Spaniard represent the two great symbols of the modern era, with the incursion of Novak Djokovic, capable of dominating the last decade and significantly approaching the records of the two eternal rivals.
Fils on Roger Federer
“Roger Federer (is my inspiration)," Arthur Fils said. "I have always liked his playing and the class he exudes. Nadal, too, he fights all the time and never lets go. It's always nice," Fils continued.
"To think that I may be in his footsteps is good. But, I have to stay humble and focused. He didn't stop after winning the Orange Bowl." Arthur Fils then put forth Dominic Thiem's example, who also won the event back in 2011.
The Frenchman stressed that top players like Thiem and Federer winning the event doesn’t necessarily guarantee a similar success story for himself. “I tell myself that it's pretty good but we shouldn't stop at that," Fils continued.
"Just because guys like Thiem won it doesn't mean I'm going to be a pro. There are also a lot of guys who won it and failed to break through." The players will arrive in Australia either on January 15 or 16 and not on any other day.
A total of 1000 people, players, and team members combined are approved by the Victorian Government to enter Australia. The prize money will remain the same as in 2020; that is, AUD 71 million. For the first-round losers, the expected prize money is AUD 100,000.
Five of the six tournaments will commence one week before the first Grand Slam. They are the ATP Cup, two ATP 250 events, and two WTA 500 events. After the first week of the Australian Open, a WTA 250 will take place from February 15.