Andrea Seppi: one point from first round defeat to the Canberra Challenger final

Tennis is a game of narrow margins, just ask Andreas Seppi.

The Italian veteran was down match point on opening day of the Canberra Challenger against Max Marterer, but four scalps later and Seppi finds himself in the final.

The 33-year-old has a chance to lift the trophy on his first trip to the capital when he faces rising Hungarian Marton Fucsovics on Saturday.

Seppi has only dropped one set on his way to the decider and enters a hot favourite against the world No. 85 Fucsovics, but he emphasised there are no easy games at this level.

The former world No.18 Seppi said barring the elite echelon on tour, any of the players inside the top 100 can beat each other on their day.

"The level is very close, maybe the first five or six guys are a level ahead, but then in the top 100 everybody can beat everybody, it really depends on the game and how you feel that day," Seppi said.

"I knew the first round was was going to be very tough and it was a very difficult match and a good fight, but fortunately I won and after first round I've played some very good tennis.

"I've never played Marton but he's just had a great year and was playing very well at the end of the season, he's a difficult opponent and is playing aggressive tennis, so it will be another tough match."

Fucsovics advanced to the final after ousting Frenchman Maxime Janvier 6-3 5-7 6-2 and is gunning for his fifth challenger title.

"It's a big achievement to win a challenger and a win against Seppi would be huge, he's a great player but in the final anything can happen," Fucsovics said.

ucsovics is coming off the best season of his career after he played a pivotal role in returning Hungary to the World Group of the Davis Cup for the first time in 22 years.

The 25-year-old will play in his first Australian Open later this month and said his goal for 2018 is to secure his first win at a grand slam.

"I got a new coach two years ago and he changed the way I think about tennis on court and off court which has made me a lot tougher mentally," Fucsovics said.

"I started winning more and playing well in ATP events and qualifying for grand slam main draws, 2017 was my most successful year of my career thanks to my coach.

"This week is one of the best preparations for the Australian open, the draw came out yesterday and I'm playing Radu Albot, so after tomorrow I'll be focusing on getting my first grand slam win."

The consummate professional Seppi has refused to check who he has drawn in Melbourne because he wants to focus all his attention on winning the title in Canberra.

"A good start to the season is always nice, winning several matches gives me confidence I need before the Australian Open because I need to protect my third round points from last year," Seppi said.

"If I lose those points it means I'll drop outside the top 100, so I will have plenty of motivation to play well in Melbourne but I don't know who I'm playing because I want to concentrate on winning here."


Friday: Play begins 11am at Lyneham National Tennis Centre. Free entry.

This story Andrea Seppi: one point from first round defeat to the Canberra Challenger final first appeared on Brisbane Times.