Fans of Stan Wawrinka won’t enjoy reading this Australian Open article, but whether they like it or not, there is a certain degree of poetry to be found in the fact that Marton Fucsovics erased three match points to climb back and beat Wawrinka — not anyone else — in a four-hour match which had all sorts of twists and turns.
Wawrinka, after all, is a man who bloomed late in his career. He was almost 29 when he won the 2014 Australian Open. It took him many years on tour to learn how to compete at a high level. He stayed the course. He hired Magnus Norman. He will be a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame with at least three major titles plus a Davis Cup trophy.
Not bad for a late bloomer.
Marton Fucsovics, age 29, can therefore look to the man he defeated on Wednesday in Melbourne as a source of inspiration. The way Fucsovics came back against Wawrinka epitomized the truth that time doesn’t run out in tennis so much as opportunities do. As long as a player wins the next point, he or she hasn’t yet lost the match. Fucsovics might have failed to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth after having a two-set lead, but when he was down 9-6 in the Australian Open’s 10-point supertiebreaker, he didn’t lose another point in the match.
Fucsovics reeled off five consecutive points to stun Stan and move to the third round.
Fucsovics did not run out of time against a player whose career is both tribute and testament to the idea that there’s always time to do something special… at least until one hangs up the racquet and calls it a career.
Like so many other players we see on tour, Fucsovics’ limitation is not his actual game. He can clock the ball. He is muscular and fit. Handling situations (#INNERGAME) is the Hungarian’s main challenge. It seemed he was well on his way to letting an important match in a significant event slip through his fingers… but then he stayed the course.
He didn’t run out of time, and now one wonders if — with another match to play and another chance to create magic — Marton Fucsovics’ career can find a higher gear as age 30 approaches.