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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday December 4, 2023

A lot has happened in the life of Arthur Fils in 2023. He has risen rapidly up the ranks, compiling a 23-18 record that enabled him to jump over 200 spots in the rankings to No.36 in the world at year end.

Tennis Express

Fils, who finished runner-up at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah, is intent on continuing his momentum in 2024, and that starts with a week-long pre-training block with Rafael Nadal at the King of Clay’s academy in Kuwait.

“It’s amazing,” Fils told the crowd in Jeddah. “I will try my best to play with him and learn from him.”

Work has already begun, and apparently Gabriel Debru, 2022 Roland-Garros boys singles champion, is also present.

Learning the practice habits of one of the greatest players to ever pick up a racquet should serve as a good primer for Fils, who is still 19 and very much learning the ropes on tour. He had never won a match at tour-level prior to 2023, but the Frenchman showed off his enormous potential in 2023 by becoming the youngest player to earn an ATP title in Lyon this spring.

"I was very happy, very surprised when he asked me to practice with him," Fils said in his post-match press conference. "It's such a big thing for me to play with one of the greatest players of all time. I will try my best for him but I have a big season coming so I will also try my best for myself. I will try to enjoy it as well."

Fils told reporters that he has big ambitions for 2024, but he isn’t going to expect too much too soon.

"My goal is not to be No. 1 in the world in three months, because it's not possible,” Fils said. “I have to work, to work, to work. I have to work in the gym, work on the court, try my best in every match I play and then maybe one day I will be a champion. I hope it comes fast, but not as fast as Carlos, because what he did was crazy."