Arthur Fery could turn pro after gaining confidence from playing Daniil Medvedev

Arthur Fery could turn pro after gaining confidence from playing Daniil Medvedev

Arthur Fery is considering turning professional after showing his potential on his Wimbledon debut in a narrow defeat to third seed Daniil Medvedev.

The 20-year-old, ranked 391, matched his illustrious opponent in the first set before a rain delay disrupted things and eventually fell to a 7-5 6-4 6-3 loss.

Fery has followed Cameron Norrie’s route by taking a scholarship to a US college – Stanford in his case – and has to decide soon whether to complete his degree or pursue his sporting dreams immediately.

Arthur Fery hits a forehand volley
Arthur Fery hits a forehand volley (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“I’ve still got a fourth year to do,” he said. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet regarding that. I’ll have to choose, decide over the summer what I do.

“But experiences like I had today make me push towards going pro. I think I played well and handled my nerves well. I feel like it could be a pretty standard thing in the coming years to play in these tournaments on the big courts. I feel more and more ready as the years go by to switch to the pro career.”

Fery’s natural touch and willingness to come to the net make him well suited to grass and he looked at home on Court One straight away after a rain shower delayed the start.

Fery, who has French parents but grew up in Wimbledon, won his opening two service games to love and forced a break point on the serve of Medvedev – playing his first match at the All England Club since 2021 after last year’s ban.

It was the Russian who made the first move with a break for 3-2 but Fery delighted the crowd by hitting straight back, prompting his excited father Loic – owner of French top division football club Lorient – to leap from his seat punching the air.

The roof stayed open despite two rain showers
The roof stayed open despite two rain showers (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Fery held his own until 5-5 when rain again began to fall, calling into serious question the organisers’ decision not to close the roof.

Still it stayed open, and the delay did not help Fery as he dropped his serve on the resumption before Medvedev, who was returning from metres behind the baseline, clinched the opening set.

Listed at a generous 5ft 8in on the ATP website, Fery was giving away nearly a foot to his opponent and Medvedev began to make his longer levers count, drawing more errors from his young opponent.

Medvedev was not exactly water-tight himself and Fery had some help in recovering from 4-2 to 4-4 down in the second set but he was broken again straight away and his opponent gradually pulled away.

“It was obviously an unbelievable experience,” said Fery, who left the court to loud cheers. “The crowd was great. I enjoyed every moment out there.

“Some of the shots he hit today I hadn’t seen before, didn’t think were possible. It definitely widens the spectrum and the realm of things that you can do on a tennis court.

“Now that I know the top players do that, it’s just a great experience. Lots to take out of it that I can take on to my next performance, and hopefully get back on the big courts here against the big players and feel like it’s more of a normal thing.”

Daniil Medvedev was touched by the positive reception he received
Daniil Medvedev was touched by the positive reception he received (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Medvedev admitted he was unsure how he would be received as a Russian but he was touched by the warmth towards him.

“There was zero, let’s say, negative energy that I felt,” he said. “I never had such a good reception at Wimbledon. It’s much better than I had before. So that’s great.”

The 27-year-old vowed to try to keep his own negative emotions in check by way of thanks, saying: “Not getting crazy, not being a selfish kid on the court. Sometimes I can be. I’m going to try to give back to people here in Wimbledon and just try to show some good tennis.”