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Andreas Seppi keen on Nick Kyrgios clash after winning Canberra Challenger

13 January 2018 6:48 AM
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At the start of the week an out of touch Andreas Seppi wanted nothing to do with another Nick Kyrgios showdown at the Australian Open.

But five days later and with a Canberra Challenger title to his name, the Italian veteran said bring it on for a third clash with the Australian No. 1 at Melbourne Park.

The pair have played two five-set epics in the past three Australian Opens and Seppi feels he's ready for another after downing rising star Marton Fucsovics in the capital on Saturday.

Seppi had to call on his experience to deny the Hungarian the biggest scalp of his career as the 33-year-old came from behind to oust Fucsovics 5-7 6-4 6-3 in the final.

Seppi survived a match point on his opening day in Canberra but from there the former world No. 18 played superb tennis, culminating in a high-tempo decider which lasted two hours and 16 minutes.

"It was a tough first set, leading 4-1 then losing 7-5 was not easy but I tried to hang in there and play my game," Seppi said.

"At the end of the second and start of the third set when it was very windy and both of us were struggling a bit, but it was a good final and a tough fight and I'm happy to get the title.

"Also being match point down in the first round and now standing here with the trophy is very special for me."

Seppi avoided social media for two days so he could focus on the title in the capital without finding out who he'd drawn at the Australian Open and his discipline paid dividends.

The Italian has drawn 18-year-old wildcard Courentin Moutet and could face Kyrgios in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park.

"I didn't want to know before the end of the tournament because maybe in the match I'd be thinking about Melbourne," Seppi said.

"I had some very good matches this week and every match I improved, so I'm very happy with my game and my confidence is good, I'm looking forward to Melbourne."

As for meeting Kyrgios again: "Why not, maybe we'll have another epic match."

Seppi raced out to a 4-1 lead at the Lyneham Tennis Centre but his 25-year-old opponent stormed back and won six of the next seven games to take the first set after 58 minutes in front of a bumper crowd.

The world No. 86 kept his composure in the second and after the duo exchanged breaks Seppi broke again with a sensational lob to clinch the set.

The decider proved a war of attrition but it was Fucsovics who cracked first, dropping his serve in the eighth game and Seppi needed no further invitation to close it out.

"Congrats to Marton for making final and good luck for Melbourne and hopefully he can come back here next year and win the title," Seppi said.

"I hope my ranking is a little bit higher to not come back, nothing against the tournament, I just hope to have a better ranking to not play the challenger, but otherwise why not."

Fucsovics now turns his attention to winning his first match at a major when he faces Radu Albot at the Australian Open.

"Congratulations to Andreas, he played well and deserved the win and I wish him all the best for Melbourne and the rest of the season," Fucsovics said.

"I had a great week and I hope to come back next year and win the title but now we're off to Melbourne and I'm really hoping for a good result there."

Also read: Canberra teenager on cusp of junior golf world championships title

Source: theage.com.au

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