BUDAPEST, April 24, 2019
Lucky loser Jannik Sinner headlined Wednesday’s first round action at the Hungarian Open by earning his first match win on the ATP Tour. The 17-year-old Italian replaced Monte-Carlo runner-up Dusan Lajovic, who was forced to withdraw from the tournament in Budapest with an elbow injury.
Sinner defeated local wild card entry Mate Valkusz, who also made his maiden appearance in a main draw of the ATP Tour. The redhead from South Tyrol won two points less than his opponent but proved to be too strong for Valkusz in the final set to secure a 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 victory in one hour and 43 minutes. Up next for Sinner will be No. 5 seed Laslo Djere of Serbia.
Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay also advanced to the second round. The World No. 73 from Uruguay battled past German qualifier Yannick Maden, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and seven minutes. Cuevas will take on top seed Marin Cilic of Croatian, who will begin his title bid on Thursday.
Later in the day, Attila Balazs delighted the home crowd at the Sport 11 venue, knocking out last year’s finalist John Millman of Australia. The wild card entry from Hungary broke his opponent’s serve three times to reach the quarterfinals with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 win after two hours and two minutes.
“I’m very happy, I wouldn’t have thought that after the second set that I still have a turning point and I find my way back into the match,” Balazs said. “I have one day of rest now, I’m pretty tired, but I think I’ll be fine on Friday.”
Balazs will next take on Pierre-Hugues Herbert from France, who beat German lucky loser Matthias Bachinger 7-5, 6-2.
Media Day with Cilic
Marin Cilic met the media in Budapest on Tuesday and is looking forward to the tournament.
“I didn’t play many matches this season. It was a great tournament here last year with many good players. The organizers offered me a wild card, so I didn’t have to think much,” the World No. 11 said.
Cilic was also asked about Hungary’s top-ranked player Marton Fucsovics, who is competing in the Barcelona Open this week.
“Marton is a great player. We played several times together. He has undergone a significant development in recent times. If he can continue like this, he can become a top 20 player, maybe even cracking the top 10.”
Second round – singles
[WC] A. Balazs (HUN) d  J. Millman (AUS) 64 26 62
P. Herbert (FRA) d [LL] M. Bachinger (GER) 75 62
First round – singles
P. Cuevas (URU) d [Q] Y. Maden (GER) 63 36 64
[LL] J. Sinner (ITA) d [WC] M. Valkusz (HUN) 62 06 64