Italy’s Andreas Seppi has claimed his first ATP Challenger title since 2014 with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics.
The match was played in much cooler conditions than earlier in the week and after a short rain delay, the players hit the court in relatively calm conditions. As the match progressed the wind gained strength and made it difficult at times for the players to serve, or keep the ball in play.
The match started with both players holding serve to take the match to 2-1. In the fourth game,
Seppi brought up the first break point with a winner down the line which gave him two break points at 15-40. He failed to convert as Fucsovics fought back to deuce. Some double faults gave Seppi more break points, one of which he was able to convert.
Seppi consolidated his break to hold a 4-1 lead after 26 minutes. The Hungarian who is ranked just two places higher than Seppi at 85 worked his way back into the match getting a break after Seppi double-faulted. The score was now 4-3 and Fucsovics held serve to level the match at 4-4.
At 5-5 with Seppi serving, some good shot making from Fucsovics saw him hold two break points at 15-40. Seppi fought back to deuce only to face several more break points. Fucsovics finally converted one of them to move to a 6-5 lead after 56 minutes of play. The big Hungarian served out the set to lead 7-5.
In the second set many baseline rallies followed with the occasional foray to the net from Seppe. Games went with serve until at 4-3 Seppi found himself with three break points. That was too big a hole to climb out for Fucsovics and he dropped serve to give Seppi a 5-3 lead.
Fucsovivs immediately broke back, only to then drop serve to hand the Italian the set 6-4.
In the third set, games went with serve until Fucsovics was serving at 3-4 down. After a few errors off the Fucsovics racquet, it was Seppi who found himself with a few break points. He only needed one and took a commanding 5-3 lead.
After two hours and 10 minutes of intense play the former world no. 18 stepped up to serve for the title. The match had seen many variations in shot making as gusty winds made the players work hard to just keep the ball in play.
With a title on the line Fucsovics worked his way to break point at 30-40 however he was not able to convert. The experienced Italian who is eight years more senior than his opponent saved the breakpoint and then strung together two more points to win the East Hotel Canberra Challenger. He showed more emotion than Nick Kyrgios did when he won the Brisbane International the week before.
The final score was 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in a match that lasted 2 hours 16 minutes. Seppi won $10,000 US and earned 80 rankings points. Fucsovics takes home $6,360 along with 48 rankings points.
Both players now head for Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open. Seppi only found out who he will meet at the Open during a post-match interview.
Seppi’s first-round opponent at the Australian Open is France’s 18-year-old Corentin Moutet who received a reciprocal wild-card from France. Moutet is ranked at 155 and also played in Canberra losing to Chilean Nicolas Jarry in the first round 7-6(4), 6-3.
Fucsovics will play Moldova’s Radu Albot who is ranked 88. Albot is 28-years-old and stand at 175cm.
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