Newly-crowned Orange Bowl winner Arthur Fils hopes to emulate past winner Roger Federer, who had won the prestigious junior tournament in 1998.
During a recent conversation with Tennisactu, Arthur Fils named Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as his inspirations from the world of tennis. The French teenager expressed his admiration for the Swiss' style of play and aura, while praising the Spaniard's never-say-die attitude.
“Roger Federer (is my inspiration)," Fils said. "I have always liked his playing and the class he exudes. Nadal, too, he fights all the time and never lets go.”
Fils was asked if Roger Federer’s win at the event in 1998 added any importance to his own achievement. The Frenchman answered in the affirmative and suggested that he is looking to follow in the footsteps of the Swiss great, who didn’t stop after winning the coveted junior title.
"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."
Notable Orange Bowl winners, including Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem
The Orange Bowl is often spoken of as the ‘5th Grand Slam’ on the junior circuit, as it really tests the prowess of the rising stars. The tournament is contested in the Under-18 and Under-16 categories for both boys and girls.
Over the years there have been several notable winners in both categories of the boys' event. Some of those - like Roger Federer, Andrey Rublev and Dominic Thiem - have made it big, whereas others like Bernard Tomic have faded away into oblivion.
Here is a list of notable winners from the boys' category (both Under-18 and Under-16):
Roger Federer (1998, U18)
Bjorn Borg (1972, U18; 1971, U16)
Ivan Lendl (1977, U18; 1976, U16)
Manuel Orantes (1966, U18)
Guillermo Vilas (1986, U16)
John McEnroe (1976, U18)
Mats Wilander (1979, U16)
Stefan Edberg (1982, U16)
Guy Forget (1982, U18)
Alex Corretja (1990, U16)
Tommy Robredo (1998, U16)
Jim Courier (1987, U18; 1986, U16)
Nicolas Massu (1997, U18)
Andy Roddick (1999, U18)
Robin Soderling (2001, U18)
Grigor Dimitrov (2006, U16)
Bernard Tomic (2007, U16)
Dominic Thiem (2011, U18)
Andrey Rublev (2012, U16)Published 17 Dec 2020, 18:47 IST