In the summer of 2021, Márton Fucsovics made his way to the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon Championship. Never before had he gone so deep into a Grand Slam event, with a professional glass ceiling appearing to have been smashed.
Unfortunately for the experienced Hungarian, in four outings at major tournaments since catching the eye at SW19, first-round exits have been endured on three occasions.
Rise and fall
One of those came on American soil, and tennis odds during the US Open are not expecting him to make much of an impact at Flushing Meadows some 12 months on. Fucsovics’ form would need to be found from nowhere in order for another run to the second week of a slam to be made.
That is not to say that Fucsovics is not capable of making an impact in New York, but hard courts have not been kind to him over the years. He has previously made the third round in the States and the fourth in Australia, but those runs have been exceptions to the norm.
In 2022, Novak Djokovic once again tops the betting markets at +138, with the likes of Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal clinging to the Serbian’s coattails. Nick Kyrgios has, however, come in with odds of +800 as the enigmatic Aussie offers hope to all of those that may have feared that a day in the sun had passed them by.
Momentum can be a wonderful thing and it only takes a pinch of that special sporting recipe in order for positive progress to be made. Fucsovics has stumbled across that formula before, so why not again?
There is, however, no escaping the fact that his impact on the most prestigious of events is becoming increasingly subdued. In truth, bags have all too often had to be packed up again within days of being unloaded in any given location.
Such struggles have inevitably led to an unfortunate tumble in being taken down the ATP world rankings. Fucsovics has been as high as 31 on that list, back in March 2019, but had slipped outside of the top 50 prior to a ball being hit in anger at Wimbledon in the current campaign.
Bucking that trend has proved tricky, to the point that standing inside the top 100 can no longer be taken for granted. Points will forever mean prizes in professional sport, and the hard-hitting Nyiregyhaza native does not have enough of them to his name at present.
Stop the rot
New York is a place where dreams can be made, so there may be no better surroundings in which to take in the next port of call. Fucsovics is unlikely to stake any serious claim to the ultimate prize at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but he does not need to be setting his sights that high.
For now, small steps – rather than giant leaps – are the order of the day. It may be an old cliché, but exploits at this stage need to be taken one game at a time. If a first-round tie at the US Open can be safely negotiated for just the second time, then confidence can be rebuilt and a man that has been stuck in reverse for far too long can start to move through the gears once more.