Tag Archive: Marton Fucsovics


The eighth Player to Watch for 2014 is the fifth former ITF World Junior #1 to be featured. Not that junior success is a firm predictor of future success, of course, but it clearly was a main criterion for selection — even subconsciously — this year.

Now, some will accuse me of picking this player just because of the numerous and nearly irresistible punning opportunities he provides. (And those people would only be 43.6% correct.)

But really, we need to convince our inner twelve-year-olds to get beyond the first four letter of his surname and instead zero in on the fourth full year of his pro career, which is coming up next year. Besides, it’s not like he’s this guy:

Things Are Looking Up For Slovenian Basketballer Gregor Fucka

Things Are Looking Up For Slovenian Basketballer Gregor Fucka

So let’s just get over it and clear our minds and hearts to welcome my eighth Player to Watch for 2014, Mr. Marton Fucsovics. (Although, it should be said, his nickname of “Marci” is only marginally less make-funnable.)

Marci?

Marci?

A 2010 singles winner at the The Junior Championships, Wimbledon (defeating Ben Mitchell) as well as singles semifinalist in New York and Melbourne and a US Open boys doubles titlist, the 21-year-old Hungarian lad is finally coming on after his “lost year” of 2011 (in which, some say, he let his ITF-page professed love of girls and motorbikes get in the way of his tennis and training).

Hungary Like The Wolf

Hungary Like The Wolf

As a kid, he wanted to play basketball, but the 6’2” (188 cm) right-hander from the easy-to-pronounce city of Nyiregyhaza found a greater affinity with tennis as he got older. Then came the girls and motorbikes and – after his junior Slammin’ exploits — going the Gulbis route of, er, celebrating his success a bit too much, all to the tune of a 21/18 season at Futures level in 2011.

He actually did a meet-and-beat* with Mr. Gulbis in a five-set April-of-2012 Davis Cup match, but couldn’t seem to kick on from there, making his first Futures finals but finishing the ’12 campaign at #441 in the rankings (up 132 spots on the year).  Around that time, though, he finally recommitted himself and got back to working hard at the game he can play so well.

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As we get further into the so-called “off-season”, and more players shut it down for the few weeks that the relentless tennis season allows them to stop playing, we start to see such scheduling decisions impact the rankings.  At the top, there’s a whole lotta nothin’ going on.  But for those willing to keep playing this deep into the season, there are nice gains to be had at the lower levels.

So few players are playing, relatively speaking, that scheduling plays a much larger role in determining Who’s Achieved Their Career Highs this week.  Let’s take a look at this week’s W.A.T.C.H. List:

Player NATIONALITY Age New High Why
Pablo Carreno-Busta ESP 22 64 Przysiezny lost pts
Sam Groth AUS 26 173 Toyota SF
Marton Fucsovics HUN 21 180 Andria W
Tennys Sandgren USA 22 184 others lost points
Kimmer Coppejans BEL 19 251 others lost points
Andrea Collarini ARG 21 255 others lost points
Theodoros Angelinos GRE 29 257 Colombia F7 SF
Egor Gerasimov BLR 21 258 Tyumen QF
Ante Pavic CRO 24 274 Tyumen QF
Aslan Karatsev RUS 20 285 others lost points
Toni Androic CRO 21 294 Croatia F16 QF
Emilio Gomez ECU 21 303 others lost points
Yann Marti SUI 25 307 Andria SF
Marc Rath AUT 23 333 Turkey F46 SF
Piotr Gadomski POL 22 353 Tyumen R2
Jason Jung USA 24 371 Toyota QF
Federico Coria ARG 21 408 Chile F8 QF
Ivan Arenas-Gualdo ESP 23 420 Spain F40 SF
Bastian Trinker AUT 23 422 Greece F20 SF
Ricardo Urzua-Rivera CHI 24 431 others lost points

As you no doubt see, with so few point-gaining events on offer (the Challenger calendar finished up last week with its final 3 events), the ATP #60-300 range that usually populates each week’s List only contains 11 players today, with only 6 of those actually gaining points from tournaments played.  

Since the List is usually at least 20 players long, I reached deeper into the rankings depths to cull this week’s edition (and this will certainly be the case for the remainder of the year). Personally, I’m pleased to be able to feature new names whose achievements occurred even further outside the spotlight than usual.

But first, an achievement that happened within many spotlights (as the Andria Challenger did not skimp on its trophy ceremony light show):

Not Fuc-ing Around

Andria Chally Not Fuc-ing Around

Hungarian gamer Marton Fucsovics found the odds to be ever in his favor as he dropped only a single set on his way to the Andria title, hurdling his previous career high ranking of 230 and jumping 53 spots to his new placement of ATP #180.

Throughout the week, the 21-year-old displayed the great hands, clean ball-striking and remarkable returning that saw him to his former world junior #1 ranking and his 2010 Boys Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles. He might even be one of my ten Players to Watch for 2014 (but you’ll have to wait ’til Sunday to find out, as I hit you up with a new PTW every day the first ten days of December).

*sings* "We will, we will FUC YOU!" *unsings*

*sings* “We will, we will FUC YOU!” *unsings*

Skipping down the List, we see another Andria Achiever, Yann Marti, whose semifinal showing allowed him to vault 55 spots past his former career high of #362 to a new best of #307. In so doing, the 25-year-old Swiss also becomes the highest-ranked Marti on tour, leapfrogging the 21-year-old Javier Marti (one of my 2011 Players To Watch) by two ranking spots.

What Light Doth Yann-der Window Break?

What Light Doth Yann-der Window Break?

Just below Yann, we see that Marc Rath’s adventurous activities (previously chronicled here) now include leaping 40 places to a new career singles high. What depth-defying stunt will the 23-year-old Austrian thrill seeker pull off next? Stay tuned!

Rath (of the Titans)

Rath-er Adventuresome

I’m happy to see that Jason Jung is now appearing on this site in a new way, as he transitions this week from my Reading Lists to my W.A.T.C.H. List, appearing at #371 on your programme. The 24-year-old University of Michigan grad wrote extensively about this week’s Toyota Challenger exploits, so rather than me blathering about it, why don’t you see what he has to say?

Finally, we see a familiar tennistical surname just under Jung’s, as Federico Coria joins his famous brother (and coach) Guillermo in the upper(ish) ranks of the ATP.  The 21-year-old mini-Mago continues a successful(ish) 2013 with a quarterfinal showing at the F8 Futures event in Chile.

He won two Futures events in Argentina this past May, and is competing in this week’s Chile F9 Futures in Santiago, where he’s the 8th seed. We’re likely to see him on upcoming Lists as we close out this tennis year.

Who's Achieved Their Coria High? - photo courtesy of Fue Buena

Who’s Achieved Their Coria High? – photo courtesy of Fue Buena

As I was putting together a database of Challenger and Futures players in the Top 500, I compiled just about every available piece of info I could find. And I found that one of the more interesting data fields came from the players’ “Personal Interests”, as listed on their ITF Biography Pages.

If you’ve ever tried researching players outside the Top 200, you’ll probably know how hard it is to dig up any info other than results for said players.  While a large majority of the Top 200 enjoy a lavish paragraph or two on the ATP’s “Personal” profile tab*, often the only sense one can get of a tenniser’s multi-dimensionality comes from this part of their ITF page.

Now, a lot of these interests are fairly drab or predictable; almost 50% of players list either soccer or football, for example.  Or 15% list “golf”, for another. But some are interesting and unique enough that they bear special mention, which is what I’ll do in this post, expertly dividing them into neat-o sub-categories such as:

Lotharios

A few players naturally list “girls” as one of their personal interests (although, predictably, none list them as “women”) — Marton Fucsovics and Brydan Klein among them (insert your own joke here).

That Ball's About To Be Fucsed Up

That Ball’s About To Be Fucsed Up

But only two (2) (TWO!) players list them as “girls!” with an exclamation point: Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri and Israel’s Dudi Sela. If you’ve been following the news, you will find that to be either a remarkable coincidence or Proof Once And For All of God’s Unquestionable Existence.

Oh, and there’s one (very smart) player who knows on what side his croissant is buttered, and that’s Lucas Pouille. Because instead of “girls” or “girls!”, the 19-year-old Frenchman has: “Girlfriend.” Period.

"Ooh la la -- I know how zee croissant is butTAIRED"

“Ooh la la — I know how zee croissant is butTAIRED”

Moldovans

As with Jaziri and Sela, I noticed that Moldovans like ATP #171 Radu Albot and #379 Maxim Dubarenco are the only people who list “walking with friends” as a favored activity.  Not “hanging out with friends” or “visiting with friends” – walking with friends.  Actually, Albot is even more exclusive than Dubarenco is, as he wrote “walking with best friends”.

Maximum Velocity

Maximum Velocity

Are you merely a good friend to Radu? Or are you a best friend? Find out by seeing if he walks with you!

This Moldovan pattern is either further proof of a Universal Order, or just an indication that the Moldovans copied off of each other’s ITF profile questionnaires when they filled them out.

Scholars

In this increasingly digital age, where 1/4th of all players list one of “internet”, “computer” or “video games” as a main interest, it’s becoming rare to find readers on the tour.

Thus, I am singling out for special commendation Ricardas Berankis, Alejandro Falla, Andrey Golubev (who, in also listing “playing chess” as a favored pursuit, wins the title of Ultra-Nerd) and Uladzimir Ignatik.

"Hi, I'm Andrey Golubev! Have You Ever Read A Book Called "Hitting Back"?

“Hi, I’m Andrey Golubev! Have you ever read a book called “Hitting Back“?

Kimmer Coppejans lists “Manga” as an interest — that’s a kind of Japanese comic book, so I’ll give him half-credit.

Adventurers

One of the few luxuries of being outside the Top 100, I suppose, is that insurance clauses on multi-million dollar sponsorship agreements won’t limit you from your favorite, possibly career-ending adrenalized adventure pursuits.  Yay?

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It’s Monday, and you know what that means: another W.A.T.C.H. List! So let’s see Who’s Achieved Their Career Highs this week*:

Player NATIONALITY Age New High
Edouard Roger-Vasselin FRA 29 64
Pablo Carreno-Busta ESP 22 66
Kenny de Schepper FRA 26 67
Joao Sousa POR 24 77
Jack Sock USA 20 79
Julian Reister GER 27 92
Alejandro Gonzalez COL 24 108
Diego Sebastian Schwartzman ARG 21 112
Oleksandr Nedovyesov UKR 26 116
Dominic Thiem AUT 20 150
Guilherme Clezar BRA 20 177
Renzo Olivo ARG 21 180
Kristijan Mesaros CRO 25 193
Gerald Melzer AUT 23 197
Pierre Hugues-Herbert FRA 22 199
Blaz Rola SLO 22 202
Mirza Basic BIH 22 204
Norbert Gombos SVK 23 214
Marton Fucsovics HUN 21 230
Valery Rudnev RUS 25 263
Shuichi Sekiguchi JPN 22 265
Patricio Heras ARG 24 269
Hiroki Kondo JPN 30 279
Kimmer Coppejans BEL 19 289
Victor Baluda RUS 20 290
Mikhail Biryukov RUS 21 294
Bjorn Fratangelo USA 20 296
Alexander Rumyantsev RUS 21 297

A week ago, there was this idiot banging the doom drums re: the lack of young Americans achieving career high rankings post-US Open.  Well that’s because no one was playing in those weeks, idiot! This week sees two young Americans, Jack Sock and Bjorn Fratangelo, charting career highs — they each made the semis of the Kaohsiung and Campinas Challengers, respectively.  Hopefully this will shut that guy up!

Jack Sock - Challenger Tennis's Original Mascot

Jack Sock – Challenger Tennis’s Original Mascot

Meanwhile, the rise of the young Argentinians continues, seemingly unrelentingly. I wonder, though, what kind of ceiling 5′ 7” (1.70 meters) Diego Schwartzman will have.** I’ve been very impressed with his game and the power he can generate with his small frame, but we’ve seen players of similar heights struggle to move up the rankings before (Ricardas Berankis and Olivier Rochus are the first ones who come to mind).  On the other hand, there’s Michael Chang and, more recently, David Ferrer.  So time will tell if the Schwartzman’s height limitation will also limit his height on the rankings ladder.

May The Schwartz Be With You

May The Schwartz Be With You

Either way, you just know that the second David Nalbandian – whose lifelong tennistical goal has been to win the Davis Cup for his country – retires, this contingent of young Argies will probably win it.  Maybe Nalby (who, incidentally, fell 8 spots to #232 in this week’s rankings) will at least get to be coach if/when that happens.

This weekend saw some big results for guys who played collegiately in the US: Oleksandr Nedovyesov, winner of the Sczecin Challenger and former All American/ITA Player of the Year for Oklahoma State, is up 34 spots. While Ohio State’s 2012 NCAA doubles champion and 2013 NCAA singles champ, Blaz Rola, rolled on up 23 spots to #202, courtesy of his semifinal showing at the Kenitra Challenger. As if we needed more evidence, it’s clearly looking more increasingly viable for college players to make a smooth transition to the pros — I really don’t think John Isner will be college athletics’ one-hit wonder***.

Rola Rollin'

Rola Rollin’

Apropos of absolutely nothing, two of my favorite tennis names made it onto this week’s List: Norbert Gombos and Marton Fucsovics. Long may they rise!

Finally, Filip Peliwo, who some morons were saying only has a 14% change of making the Top 200 while he’s still in his teens (aka another 4ish months), won the $15,000 Markham F9 Futures in Canadia, and the 27 ATPts he takes from there will zoom him up to ~250th when his points are added next week (Futures points aren’t usually added until 8 days after its final is played).  He now needs ~51 pts to make the Top 200, so 2 more comparable victories can get him there.

Oh, and in case you didn’t click either of those links above, the “idiot” and “moron” I referred to was me in both instances.  *bows theatrically*

*ranked between #60 and 300, that is

**here’s where a less classy writer would make a “at least there’s plenty of room under the ceiling at that height” joke. But I would never. Not even in the footnotes.

*** why yes, I am trying to make a joke about his serve ending most points.

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