13 January 2018 | Tennis ACT

Andreas Seppi (ITA) has taken out the East Hotel Canberra Challenger title in front of a packed crowd at the Canberra Tennis Centre.  Seppi defeated Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 5-7 6-4 6-3 to claim his eighth ATP Challenger title and first since 2014.

The opening set saw Seppi take an early lead, breaking in the fourth game and going out to a 4-1 lead.  Fucsovics responded breaking back to level things up at 4-4.  With the scores again locked at 5-5, Fucsovics stepped up to break Seppi, and then served it out to clinch the opening set 7-5.

It remained on serve early in the second set before the wind picked up and made it difficult for both players on serve.   Seppi broke to go up 5-3 before Fucsovics broke straight back.   Seppi again broke serve hitting a forehand lob winner to secure the second set 6-3.

The decider remained on serve until Seppi broke to go to a 5-3 lead.  Seppi held serve winning a 20 ball rally to win the title.

Despite the tough conditions, Seppi was pleased to come through a tough match.

“It was not easy especially at the end of the second and third set it was very windy.

“I think it was a good final, it was a tough fight, and I’m happy to get the title here.

Seppi was only one point away from losing in the opening round of the tournament when he faced a match point in his match against Maximilian Marterer (GER).

“Being match point down in the first round and now standing here with the trophy it’s for sure very important for me and special.

“I had some very good matches I have to say during this week, and I’m pretty happy with my game so hopefully I can keep it up for Melbourne.

Seppi will take plenty of confidence into Australian Open 2018 after defeating four top 100 opponents on the way to the East Hotel Canberra Challenger title.

He will face Corentin Moutet (FRA) in the opening round, while Fucsovics will be making his debut at Melbourne Park against Radu Albot (MDA).

The men’s doubles final was played on Friday evening, with second seeds Jonathan Erlich (ISR) and Divij Sharan (IND) defeating top seeds Hans Podlipnik-Castillo (CHI) and Andrei Vasilevski (BLR) 7-6(1) 6-2.  Both pairings will now head to Melbourne for Australian Open, with Erlich a former doubles champion, winning the title in 2008 with Andy Ram (ISR).