Just under five years ago Marton Fucsovics, then the world no. 85 lost the final of the Canberra International against Andreas Seppi.
After winning his semifinal match in 2023 at the same tournament the 30-year-old said he was hungry for the title this time around.
After his finals appearance in 2018, Fucsovics went to the Australian Open and made his way to the round of 16 where he lost to eventual champion Roger Federer.
Fucsovics, the top-seed, returned to Canberra after seeing his ranking reach a career-high of no. 31 in March, 2019 only to blow out to no. 109 in November 2022.
This time around the Hungarian was ranked at no. 87 at the start of the week in Canberra.
Fucsovics would face rising start Leandro Riedi. The 20 year-old was looking to win his third straight ATP Challenger title after winning in Helsinki, Finland as a qualifier and then Andria, Italy.
The Hungarian had also tasted recent Challenger success, winning in Bratislava, Slovakia in November.
The final was played in perfect conditions, the wind was not as blustery as in previous days and it was not too hot.
Fucsovics was first to get a break when Riedi hit long at 30-30 in the third game. Another forehand hit long by the Swiss player handed the Hungarian the break.
Riedi immediately hit back after Fucsovics missed a shot at 30-30. A shot into the net from Riedi let that opportunity slip but another out ball from his opponent gave another break point and an unforced error gave the Swiss the break back.
The string of breaks continued for another game with the score back on serve at 3-3 after the top seed was broken.
Both players held serve until the 11the game when Riedi let a 30-15 lead slip after a string of errors. Fucsovics was then serving for the first set at 6-5.
Riedi looked a shot at breaking back when he was up 0-30 but that quickly went away after he mishit a forehand that went out and it was 30-30. An unforced error from Fucsovics gave Riedi a break point and he had a look at a second serve but he badly missed a shot that almost hit the back fence.
The wind was now starting to pick up to make it difficult at times to time a shot.
Another break point came and went after a Fucsovics winner. The no. 1 seed finally held to close out the first set 7-5.
The second set again saw several break of serve, Fucsovics with two and Riedi with one.
The first coming against the Swiss player in the opening game.
A netted forehand gave a break point to Riedi in the sixth game. Good scrambling play from the Swiss finally saw an error from his opponent and the scores were level at 3-3.
Riedi would then hold for 4-3 only to see Fucsovics win the next three games and claim the title 7-5, 6-4.
A forehand winner from Fucsovics had given him match point at 40-15. It took just one point to see off the challenge from Riedi.
“It feels good. I’m happy to win the title. It’s a great start to the year, I cannot wish for a better week,” Fucsovics said.
“I was very focused on each match and I felt very strong physically. I think it will help me in the future, especially at the Australian Open.”
Fucsovics celebrated with his coach and then mingled with some fans before heading to the airport to fly to Adelaide for the qualifying matches.
Riedi heads to Melbourne for the Australian Open qualifying. Based on his Canberra form he is a good chance to reach the main draw for the first time at a Grand Slam.
The Swiss player was grascious with his time after the match staying for some time to sign autographs, chat with fans and pose for photos.