At 37 years of age, Andreas Seppi is still causing upsets on the ATP Tour. As if beating Marton Fucscovics (a Wimbledon quarterfinalist this year) in five sets in Round 1 wasn’t enough, the veteran Italian has just dumped the 10th seed and Wimbledon semifinalist out of the tournament. In a stunning upset, Seppi defeated Hurkacz 2-6 6-4 6-4 7-6(6).
In a result that not many, if any, were expecting, Seppi seems to have done the impossible once again. Hurkacz was the heavy favorite heading into this encounter and after he took the first set 6-2, it seemed this would be a fairly routine win.
Andreas Seppi Upsets Hubert Hurkacz
However, Seppi had other ideas. Early on in the second set Hurkacz’s level dropped somewhat, and the 37-year-old took full advantage by breaking early in a shaky service game from the Pole. For whatever reason, there was now less consistent firepower in Hurkacz’s groundstrokes.
As we know from over the years, Seppi is not someone you want to be playing when you’re slightly off your game. Once Seppi had the break he had control of the set and didn’t look back, taking it 6-4.
The Italian continued this momentum in the third set with some great attacking tennis, securing a break in the first game of the set. Despite Hurkacz doing his best to fight back, Seppi held strong and served out the set 6-4.
Hurkacz was once again broken at the start of the fourth set, and it seemed the upset was imminent. The Pole did manage to break back a few games later, and the two players traded holds of serve all the way to a tiebreak. Hurkacz had set points come and go as the Italian continued to remain clutch on the big points.
In classic Seppi fashion, the tiebreak was full of drama and excitement. Some great rallies saw them level at 5-5, where Seppi threw in his first double fault of the set, giving Hurkacz another set point. A hugely intense rally followed, resulting in Hurkacz hitting a backhand just long.
As if it couldn’t get more dramatic, Seppi got fortunate with a let chord at 6-6 to give himself match point. A booming inside-out forehand winner was enough to seal an epic victory for the Italian.
Though Hurkacz wasn’t playing at his best, credit should go to Seppi. He’s such a fighter and plays in a way that puts you off your game, and has some surprising firepower he can pull out of nowhere. He now plays Oscar Otte in the third round, where he will battle to make the second week in New York for the first time.
Andreas Seppi: The Upset King
The Italian is of course no stranger to upsets at Grand Slams. Even in the first round, he was not at all expected to beat Fucscovics. In an epic five-set thriller, the Italian prevailed in a hugely intense final set tiebreak 15-13.
Earlier this year he took rising star Felix Auger Aliassime out of the French Open in four sets. He took out the dangerous Nick Kyrgios in a five-set stunner at the Australian Open in 2017, where he avenged his 2015 loss. In 2015 he famously upset Roger Federer at the Australian Open where he produced an utterly sublime performance. He’s caused plenty more upsets throughout his career as well as these.
All of these players he took out were on big occasions on surfaces which they prefer. Seppi has nerves of steel in these matches and can always step up to the plate, no matter what his previous form is.
Just when it seems that Andreas Seppi is close to fading away from the men’s game, he comes back and surprises us once again. Long may it continue.
Main Photo from Getty.