Day 3 Preview: Fils, Stricker Seek SFs In Jeddah


The group-stage drama peaks on Thursday at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM, when the four semi-final places will be decided.

It’s all to play for in the Green Group, where Arthur Fils will bid to complete a perfect 3-0 group campaign by beating Dominic Stricker. Italians Flavio Cobolli and Luca Nardi will also square off in the same group, with Nardi in search of his first win of the week.

Fils followed a five-set opening win against Nardi with a dominant victory against Cobolli in which he lost just five games. But Stricker enters Day 3 behind an equally comprehensive victory against Nardi, setting the stage for a high-level encounter.

The pair met once before, with Stricker notching a 7-6(4), 7-6(4) victory this July in Gstaad.

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In the Red Group, Jordanian wild card Abdullah Shelbayh will look to build on the considerable momentum he gained from flying through the last eight games of his Wednesday win against Alex Michelsen. The rising Arab star, whose native Jordan neighbours Saudi Arabia, will take on Serbia’s Hamad Medjedovic knowing a three-set or four-set win will guarantee his place in the semi-finals.

“I’ve known him since we were 10 years old,” said Shelbayh of Medjedovic. “I think it was in Italy the first time I met him. He’s a great guy, I know his family very well and they’re great people. It’s not going to be an easy match. We’ve never played against each other, but we have played doubles together. We won a title in Turkey together as well.

“I think it’s going to be a fun match to play. Another important one for me and also for him depending on his match today, but every win now counts for all of us in the group so of course I’m going to have to focus on recovering well and see how tomorrow goes.”

Medjedovic, who tops the group at 2-0 after closing Wednesday’s play with a win against Luca Van Assche, is also looking forward to meeting his buddy on the court.

“Abdullah is a great friend of mine,” said the Serbian. “I’ve known him since I was a little kid. He’s a great player, we won a doubles title together when we were kids and I’m just happy to face him tomorrow.”

Also in the Red Group, the second-seeded Van Assche will meet Michelsen, who still has a potential path to the semi-finals despite his 0-2 record.

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ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2024

CENTRE COURT start 3 p.m.
[5] F. Cobolli (ITA) vs. [7] L. Nardi (ITA)

Not Before 4 p.m.

[1] A. Fils (FRA) vs. [3] D. Stricker (SUI)

Not Before 8 p.m.

[2] L. Van Assche (FRA) vs. [4] A. Michelsen (USA)
[6] H. Medjedovic (SER) vs. [WC/8] A. Shelbayh (JOR)



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