The Hungarian Open is the only ATP Tour event to ever take place in Hungary, and it has already proven a key tournament for several players since its inception in 2017. ATPTour.com takes a closer look at the ATP 250.
1) Pouille Kicked Off The Event In Style In 2017
The Hungarian Open is on the rise, as the ATP 250 made its debut in 2017. That event marked the first time that Hungary hosted an ATP Tour event. France’s Lucas Pouille won the inaugural edition of the clay-court tournament.
Pouille, who was the top seed that year, saved two match points in his opening-round match against Jiri Vesely, needing a final-set tie-break in that match. The Frenchman did not look back from there, winning the tournament without losing a set the rest of the way. That was the first of three ATP Tour titles for Pouille in 2017, when he lifted a trophy on clay (Budapest), grass (Stuttgart) and hard (Vienna).
2) Lucky Loser Champion
Marco Cecchinato won his first ATP Tour trophy at 2018 Budapest, but for a moment it appeared he wouldn’t make the main draw.
The Italian entered the week as the No. 92 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, forcing him to go through qualifying. He won just six games in the final round of qualifying against then-World No. 133 Jurgen Zopp, but Cecchinato got into the main draw as a lucky loser.
Five wins later, Cecchinato lifted the trophy. There were eight qualifiers who earned ATP Tour titles in 2018, but Cecchinato was the only lucky loser to accomplish the feat that season.
The Italian carried that momentum into Roland Garros one month later, shocking the world by defeating Novak Djokovic en route to the semi-finals. That run helped him reach a career-high World No. 16 last February, and it all started in Budapest.
3) Berrettini’s Launching Pad
Matteo Berrettini is the reigning Budapest champion, and he used his triumph in Hungary as a launching pad towards the Top 10.
The Italian did not claim his first ATP Tour crown at 2019 Budapest, but it was an important triumph for him nonetheless. Berrettini arrived in Hungary on a five-match tour-level losing streak, ranked World No. 55. But he battled through two three-setters to win his first title of the season.
By the end of the year, Berrettini was not only inside the Top 10, but he earned a spot in the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals.
4) ATP ACES For Charity Recipient
The Hungarian Open, a 2018 ATP ACES For Charity grant recipient, held a successful kids’ day on 25 April 2018 in Budapest, benefitting more than 400 children. The tournament also donated three junior-sized sports wheelchairs, which kids used to play tennis with the help of wheelchair tennis instructors and ATP Tour pros.
Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur, Colombian Santiago Gonzalez, Briton Dominic Inglot, Germans Yannick Maden and Maximilian Marterer, Japan’s Ben McLachlan, Aussie John Millman, Hungarian Zsombor Piros, top seed Lucas Pouille, #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, Croatian Franko Skugor, Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, and Swede Elias Ymer joined the festivities to help create a memorable experience for all of the kids.
5) Dinner With Denis
Two years ago, Denis Shapovalov took fans behind the scenes into his life off the court, allowing a camera crew to join his team at dinner in Budapest. The Canadian was accompanied by then-coach Martin Laurendeau, Hungarian practice partner Peter Nagy and physio Stefano De Pirro.
“When we’re on site or during the day it’s a lot of business, a lot of hard work,” Shapovalov said. “It’s nice to get away from that and just spend some quality time with the guys, not talk about tennis, just talk about life.”