Carlos Alcaraz suffered a surprise defeat in Rome at the hands of Fabian Marozsan. But who exactly is Marozsan?
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Who is Fabian Marozsan
The 23-year-old Hungarian is relatively unknown and may have stayed that way. Had it not been for a very impressive performance against Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. The Spaniard was the #2 seed in Rome and had been expected to go the distance, especially with his record on clay and having won the US Open last year.
Up to this point, Fabian Marozsan has not been a name that is instantly recognisable. The Hungarian has focussed to date on the lower tiers of the tennis pyramid. Marozsan recently made the step up from ITF level circuit to the Challenger tour.
In the Banja Luka Challenger in August last season, Marozsan went on what was his breakout run. The Hungarian claimed the title with a powerful Damir Dzumhur, where the 23-year-old lost only three games in the final. He followed this up with a semi-final in Alicante. November saw the Hungarian switch surfaces to hard court, and totally surprisingly made the final in Bratislava.
His opponent that day was his fellow countryman Marton Fucsovics. The older Hungarian won in straight sets, which was not unexpected as Marozsan was largely known as a clay specialist. However, Fucsovics had nothing but good to say of his younger countryman.
Speaking to Jakub Bobro after claiming the title, Fucovics said of Marozsan “I think Fabi has a very good future. If he continues like this, he will be Top 100 soon. I know that he’s a very hard worker, a very humble guy. He can be a good example for the younger guys too”
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Main Draw Debut
Marozsan has impressed so far this season, looking to make the step up to the main tour. The 23-year-old made his Grand Slam debut in the Australian Open qualifying, won a second challenger title on clay and then went on an eight match win streak to make the semi-final in Szekesfehervar.
The win in Rome over Alcaraz is even more impressive when the Hungarian was two points away of not even qualifying for the event. Timofey Skatov served for the main draw place. Marozsan somehow broke and held on to get the main draw debut.
Following up the impressive win could be difficult. Lots of players previously have experienced the “top seed” bounce. It proves difficult to follow up a very big win in some cases. However, this is clay, which is his preferred surface.
Marozsan faces Borna Coric next, another seeded player. Not only did the Hungarian throw the bottom half of the draw wide open, he stands a very good chance of breaking into the top 100 next week. That would certainly make the Hungarian more of a household name. One of the benefits of landing in the top 100 is direct entry to Grand slam events, without the need for qualifying.
Watch out for Fabian Marozsan, a name for the future, especially on the clay
Main Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports