Hometown Favourite Balazs Stuns Millman In Budapest
Attila Balazs gave the hometown fans plenty to cheer for at the Hungarian Open in Budapest. The wild card, currently No. 246 in the ATP Rankings, stunned 2018 runner-up and sixth seed John Millman of Australia 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
Balazs, who took out in-form Pole Hubert Hurkacz in the opening round, is through to his first ATP quarter-final in seven years (2012 Bucharest SF, l. to Fognini). The 30-year-old returned to action in March after missing seven months due to a hip injury. Balazs’ injury woes forced him off the tour for two years, but he returned to action in August 2016 and has played primarily on the ATP Challenger Tour since then.
Next up for Balazs is Pierre-Hugues Herbert of France, who rallied from 1-5 in the opening set and saved a set point to defeat Matthias Bachinger of Germany 7-5, 6-2. Bachinger moved into the draw as a lucky loser after third seed and defending champion Marco Cecchinato of Italy pulled out due to illness.
Italian teenager Jannik Sinner won the first ATP Tour main draw match of his career by defeating Hungarian wild card Mate Valkusz 6-2, 0-6, 6-4. The 17-year-old snuck into the draw as a lucky loser when Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters finalist Dusan Lajovic of Serbia withdrew due to an elbow injury.
Sinner won his first ATP Challenger Tour title this February in Bergamo. He started the year at No. 546 in the ATP Rankings and is guaranteed to move into the Top 300 on Monday. The teenager will now face fifth seed Laslo Djere of Serbia for a place in the quarter-finals.
Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay hung tough to defeat German qualifier Yannick Maden 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. Cuevas, who won last week’s ATP Challenger Tour event in Tunis without dropping a set, will take on top seed Marin Cilic of Croatia on Thursday.