Andreas Seppi literally fought until he dropped in the opening round. © ATP Tour
What a legendary fight by Andreas Seppi at the US Open. The “tennis oldie” from Kaltern offered the audience in Flushing Meadows a real thriller and ended it after more than four hours of play with an unexpected end.
31. August 2021
For the 18th time Seppi played on Tuesday evening (CEST) at the US Open, it is the 66th Grand Slam tournament of his extraordinary career. Nevertheless, there is no trace of old age – on the contrary! In the opening round he beat Marton Fucsovics, who was clearly better placed in the world rankings, with 15:13 (!) In the decisive tiebreaker. With the 2: 6, 7: 5, 6: 4, 2: 6, 7: 6, Seppi Jannik Sinner follows in the second round. Shortly before that, he had clinched his first ever win in New York.
In the duel between number 41 in the world and Seppi, who is in 89th position in the ATP ranking, the roles were initially clearly divided. Fucsovics confidently played his all-round game, while the first set completely bypassed Seppi. At the beginning of the second part of the game, however, the South Tyrolean caught himself. Now an exciting duel developed, which from then on was carried out completely on an equal footing. With a score of 5: 5, Seppi used his first breakball in this game and thus paved the way for winning the set.
This sense of achievement made the veteran ‘s chest much broader, now he was showing his best tennis in phases and forcing his counterpart to make mistakes again and again. An example? Seppi’s patient and flawless game in the tenth game of the third section, when he bagged the set win on an opposing serve. Fucsovics’ nerves were so bare that he took out the anger on his playground equipment.
Seppi cancels 5 match points
With his outburst of anger, the Hungarian caused a hello-wake call himself. From then on he was clearly more present in the game again. The result: a clear 6: 2 and the following decision sentence. This developed into a real battle of nerves, in which Seppi initially snatched the serve from his opponent, but promptly received the re-break. When the score was 6: 5, the 37-year-old then missed his first match point by not bringing a simple backhand slice over the net.
But even if Fucsovics subsequently forced the tiebreaker – Seppi did not allow himself to be disturbed by the great opportunity he had missed. Rather, it really blossomed in the decisive rallies and contributed to the fact that the tiebreak became a big show, in which both opponents canceled a row of match points.
Unusual cheering scenes
The duel seemed endless in these moments – until Seppi set the end point after four hours and eight minutes. At 14:13 he used his sixth match point in this game. What followed was a real outburst of emotions from the otherwise cool South Tyrolean, who initially sank to the ground and later, after shaking hands, jumped across the square with a clenched fist.
By then it was clear to every observer: His 18th US Open participation is already something very special – no matter how Seppi’s second round match against the number ten seeded Hubert Hurkacz may fail.