Tennis

Is The New Batch of Teenage Superstars Made In France – Can Van Assche and Arhtur Fils Take Over Tennis?

Teenagers Carlos Alcaraz and Holger Rune finally broke the mould in the last few years by ending the decade-long supremacy of the big 3 (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer). Inspired by their example several other 18 and 19-year-old players filled the top 10 rankings of the ATP recently. During the recently concluded 2023 Mutua Madrid Open, both Alcaraz and Rune turned 20. So, we now have a look at the next generation of exciting teenagers and our eyes stopped on the two 18-year-old French sensations Luca Van Assche and Arthur Fils.

Van Assche and Fils
(Photo by Baptiste Fernandez/Icon Sport)

Are The 18-year-old Frenchmen Luca Van Assche and Arthur Fils The New Tennis Teenage Stars?

Van Assche and Fils met in the 2021 Juniors Roland Garros final and both immediately entered the hearts of the craving-for-French success crowd in Paris. Since then both teenagers had very solid runs in numerous Challengers events and as of this year, both have made a very smooth transition to the ATP Tour.

Van Assche became the first player born in 2004 or later to reach the ATP Top 100 earlier this year after winning his third Challengers title at Sanremo, Italy. Fils is knocking on the top 100 too and back in February he became the first player born in 2004 or later to reach an ATP semifinal. He did that twice during February with impressive runs both in Montpelier and Marseille.

Are we looking at two new tennis superstars in the making in Van Assche and Fils? All the signs are there and we strongly believe that by the end of 2023, both will be well-established inside the top 100, with both also seen as future top 10 players.

Luca Van Assche

Van Assche
Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM – Photo by Icon sport

After winning the 2021 Juniors Roland Garros Van Assche moved to play some Challengers at the senior level and he has done well.

His first Challenger title was in 2022 in Maia, Portugal. Then in early 2023, he won 2 more Challengers titles in Pau, France and Sanremo, Italy. This saw him enter the world top-100. Van Assche has had decent success since and with hardly any points to protect from last year he’s moving up the rankings fast.

Van Assche nearly achieved his biggest win a few weeks back when pushing Novak Djokovic to 3 sets in Banja Luka. Van Assche was a set and a break up in this match before the ultimate GOAT found a way to break his stubborn resistance.

Just a few weeks before the 2023 Roland Garros he stands at number 85 in the world rankings and looks set to get a main draw place in Paris.

Arthur Fils

Arthur Fils
Photo by Corinne Dubreuil/ABACAPRESS.COM – Photo by Icon sport

Fils might have lost the 2021 Juniors Roland Garros to Van Assche but the boisterous Frenchman built up his physic very well in 2022 and since the start of this year has been making some major progress.

Fils started the year ranked 251 but he is already knocking on the top 100. At the start of May, he is number 119 and is set to receive a wildcard for the 2023 Roland Garros even if he doesn’t qualify by right. Fils is compared to Nick Kyrgios for his passion on the court and he feeds off the crowd a lot during his matches. So far, all of Fils’ big results had been achieved in France.

Fils became the first player born in 2004 or later to reach an ATP semifinal. He did that twice in the month of February with runs in Montpelier and then Marseille. He beat several ex-top 10 players during these runs and clearly showed that he has the physic to compete at the senior level.

With only 100 ATP points to defend for the rest of the year, it’s not a question if Fils will enter the top 100 in 2023. The question is how high he could get.

Van Assche and Fils Chances At The Upcoming 2023 Roland Garros

Van Assche will have a place in the main draw by his current ranking. With a bit of luck in the draw and the crowd on his side, he could hope to record at least 1-2 wins. A run up to round 3 or deeper will be massive for the teenager and the ex-Roland Garros Juniors champion certainly loves Paris and the clay surfaces.

Fils might need a wild card to enter the main draw but he will almost certainly get it. He is destined to have a tough draw. However, Fils ignites the French crowd like nobody else and with their backing he will be a formidable opponent no matter who is up against him. Watch out for Fils causing an upset early in the tournament. We still don’t think he can go beyond round 2 but this will be more than enough to propel him inside the world’s top 100.

Is it time for French rulers again at the ATP Tour? Van Assche and Fils certainly think so and we can’t wait to see their development as the year progresses.


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About the author

Iskra

Iskra had a promising, at least she believed so, tennis and volleyball careers as a junior but a series of injuries ended her hopes to become a professional athlete very early.

Instead, she focused all her energy on her other passion, writing. For over a decade, Iskra had been a freelance sports writer. Football, basketball and tennis are the main fields of her expertise.