‘Lucky loser’ Cecchinato into Budapest final

Final flourish: Marco Cecchinato on his way to victory against Italian compatriot Andreas Seppi in the Budapest semi-final

Budapest (AFP) – Six days after being knocked out in the qualifying round, Italian 25-year-old Marco Cecchinato made the most of a reprieve to reach the Hungarian Open final on Saturday.

Cecchinato, ranked at 92 in the world, came from a set down to beat eighth-seeded compatriot Andreas Seppi 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 to book a place his first final.

“It is very strange because I lost last week (in qualifying) and tomorrow I will play the final,” said Cecchinato who earned a place in the main draw as a ‘lucky loser’ after Serbia’s Laslo Djere pulled out with an injury.

“It was a tough match,” Cecchinato told “I know Andreas very well because we are friends, I have practised with him for so many years.”

In Sunday’s final, Cecchinato will meet either 2017 runner-up Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia or Australia’s John Millman.

Their semi-final was level at a set apiece when bad light caused a suspension on Saturday.