Fucsovics Claims Hungary's First Title In 36 Years
It has been nearly four decades since Hungary last celebrated a champion on the ATP World Tour. But that finally changed on Saturday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open.
Marton Fucsovics secured his maiden ATP World Tour title in front of a packed crowd in Geneva, capping an impressive week on the Swiss clay. The Budapest resident ousted Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and eight minutes to emerge with the biggest trophy of his career.
The 26-year-old is the first Hungarian to claim a tour-level crown since 1982, when Balazs Taroczy won the last of his 13 titles in Hilversum, Netherlands. And Fuscovics is also assured of becoming the first from his country to break into the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings since former World No. 12 Taróczy. He is projected to rise to a career-high No. 45, earning 250 points and €89,435 in prize money.
"I really love Switzerland," Fucsovics exclaimed. "Last year, I played my first ATP quarter-final in Basel and now I won my first title here, so it's really special for me. We've been working a long time for this. The last two years were very hard for me in my life, but hopefully I will have a very long career after this."
Fucsovics was a man on a mission on Saturday at the Tennis Club de Geneve. He dominated proceedings from start to finish, never facing a break point and converting on four of his own. An immediate break to open the match set the tone, as the Hungarian dictated play throughout the encounter and forced Gojowczyk out of his comfort zone.
Fucsovics' serve was an impenetrable force, as he conceded just two points on his first delivery and earning 78 per cent of total service points - to Gojowczyk's 50 per cent. He would streak to a set and a break lead and celebrated the title on his first championship point. Chair umpire Fergus Murphy overruled a serve initially called wide, giving Fucsovics his sixth ace of the match and the title.
Probably not how he imagined it ... but a moment Marton Fucsovics will never forget!— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 26, 2018
The 🇭🇺 beats Peter Gojowczyk 6-2 6-2 in the @genevaopen final to claim his first ever #ATP World Tour title.
Bravo Marton 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/JrSs4AcTom
It was a well-deserved victory for the 26-year-old, who came through a murderer's row of opponents to lift the trophy. Straight-set wins over fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, #NextGenATP star Frances Tiafoe and two-time champion Stan Wawrinka moved him into the semi-finals, where he rallied from a set and a break down to stun Steve Johnson.
On Saturday, Fucsovics exacted revenge on Gojowczyk after dropping their lone previous encounter at US Open qualifying in 2015. It is shaping to be a signature season for the Hungarian, who earned his first Top 20 win (d. Querrey) in reaching the Australian Open fourth round and scored his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match victory in Indian Wells.
Meanwhile, Gojowczyk was appearing in his third ATP World Tour final and second of the season. A first-time winner on the indoor hard courts of Metz last year, he finished runner-up to Tiafoe in Delray Beach in February. The German also ascends to a career-high inside the Top 50, rising to a projected No. 43 in the ATP Rankings.
"Marton, congrats on your first title," said Gojowczyk. "Your coach and your box did a great job this week. For me, I was here without a coach. He was at home, so I came with my family - my sister and my niece. Thanks a lot for supporting me this week.
"It was great to reach the final in Geneva, even if it's on clay, which is not my best surface. It was also not my best day today. But the good thing in tennis is that every week there's a new chance and on Monday or Tuesday I will play in Roland Garros. I'm looking forward to that.
Both competitors will shift their focus to the terre battue of Roland Garros, with Fucsovics opening against Vasek Pospisil and Gojowczyk battling Cameron Norrie. Both are making their main draw debuts in Paris.
Did You Know?
Fucsovics is the seventh first-time winner this year, joining Daniil Medvedev, Mirza Basic, Roberto Carballes Baena, Frances Tiafoe, Marco Cecchinato and Taro Daniel.