Marco Cecchinato. From suspicion of “agreements” to the semi-finals Roland Garros

The main discovery of Roland Garros

Each Grand Slam tournament must have its own hero. At the Australian Open, this was the Korean Jong Hyun, and at Roland Garros – Marco Ceckinato. At least for now, because we keep in mind the possible victory of Diego Schwarzman over Rafael Nadal. Of course, Schwartzman is much more famous than Ceckinato, but he can create one of the loudest sensations of the new century, because the title was confidently given to Nadal even before the start of the competition. Cecchinato has won several high-profile victories in Paris (over three top-15 players), but Roland Garros has Nadal and everyone else. Nevertheless, few people could have imagined that a tennis player who had no victories at the Helmets a week and a half ago and lost in the first round 2: 6, 6: 7, 4: 5, would be able to reach the semifinals. Who is he, Marco Cecchinato?

Unfortunately, before Roland Garros, the Italian became famous from a not very pleasant side. In the Moroccan Challenger in 2015, he lost to the 332nd racket of the world, Kamil Mayhjak, and a year later he was suspended for 18 months on suspicion of “surrendering” the match. Then the disqualification was reduced to 12, and then completely canceled. Now Marco is officially clean, but, as they say, the sediment remains.

Accusations of “agreements”

The Italian Tennis Federation has counted that Cecchinato deliberately lost due to unusually large bets on the sensation (Marco was in the top 90 and was considered the favorite in the game with Mayhzhak) from his compatriots Ricardo Accardi and Antonio Campo. Suspicions were also heightened by the unusual correspondence between Accardi and Cecchinato, in which two Italians conceived something, but of course did not use names or “keywords”.

Marco was also accused of reporting to the same Accardi about the injury of Andreas Seppi before his game with John Isner. Thus, Accardi received classified inside information that he could use to make a bet. But not only insiders can provide information about the future game. On a website that has football predictions, information is provided by the best experts and analysts. Cecchinato, on the other hand, argued that this information was not classified, journalists knew it and the fans could also find out. One way or another, tennis players are in any case prohibited from betting on their sport precisely because of insider data, which, of course, can help a lot. Marco denied all accusations, although he said that he did not always act according to the letter of the law. At Roland Garros, he refused to answer questions on this topic, wishing to leave several unpleasant episodes in his career in the past.

Cecchinato could have lost in the first round

Indeed, at this French Open, Cecchinato receives only positive emotions. Marco arrived in Paris without a single victory in the Grand Slam tournaments in the main draws. In total, he participated in such competitions 13 times and in nine cases did not qualify. In the same four cases, when he overcame the selection, the Italian lost in the first round: once on each “Helmet”. At Roland Garros, he was close to another loss in the starting circle, as he lost to Mariusz Kopil 2: 6, 6: 7 (4), 4: 5. However, Cecchinato snatched the victory and advanced to the second round. Few can boast that in his first five sets of his career, he bounced back from 0-2 in games.

Next, Ceckinato met with his Argentine namesake Trungelliti, and many were rooting for Trungelliti. As a reminder, he entered the tournament as a “lucky loser,” having made a nine-hour journey from Barcelona to Paris by car the night before the match. But Cecchinato confidently won three sets, and then began to really amaze: he beat two top 15 players Pablo Carreno-Busta and David Goffin. And the main thing is that he won on the case and with a small margin, at least not bringing it to the fifth game. So, Carreño-Busta took the whole game in the fourth set, and Goffen Cecchinato even hung up the steering wheel. Being in the game from the defeat in the first round, the Italian advanced to the quarterfinals. But this is where the tale ends? Novak Djokovic can’t beat him, is he?

The best match of the tournament

The meeting between Ceccanito and Djokovic has become the brightest and most interesting at the current Roland Garros. From the very first minutes, the Serb made it clear that something was bothering him: he called a doctor who massaged his neck. During the first hour of the game, Novak did little, and the Italian took the starting set, and also took the lead with a break in the second. Djokovic was dissatisfied with himself, turned to his team, argued with the referee and even shouted at the bolboev, demanding to bring a towel. It seemed that at any moment he could refuse to continue the meeting.

Nevertheless, literally in an instant, the Serb added, won 12 points in a row and began to seize the initiative. To Cecchinato’s credit, he was able to react to this push of Djokovic and did not let him go too far. The tie-break, which the Italian left behind, was of fundamental importance. Novak has recouped four times from 0-2, but now he is neither physically nor mentally ready for such a comeback. However, he was close. Taking nine out of ten games, Djokovic was one step away from transferring the match to the fifth set, but did not apply for it. The tie-break turned out to be incredibly persistent and entertaining. Each missed three sebols (in the case of Ceckinato, three match points), with Novak having the most realistic chance, but he missed a simple half-court kick from the shouts of the fans and was very dissatisfied with their behavior.

And when the score was 12:11, Marco had an excellent reception, which allowed him to win a sensational and major victory in his career – 6: 3, 7: 6 (4), 1: 6, 7: 6 (11). The hero collapsed onto the court and could not believe that he had knocked out Djokovic from the tournament, with whom he had recently trained several times. The Serb with a smile hugged and congratulated the opponent, but he came to the press conference in a bad mood and answered almost all questions in monosyllables, including stating that he could miss the grass season. But that’s another story, and Ceckinato’s interview turned out to be much more interesting. “I just can’t believe it! Maybe I’m dreaming, maybe it’s a dream? ”, – he asked Cedric Piolin. “You are awake ,” the former French tennis star replied. “Are you sure?” , Cecchinato asked again, smiling and bewilderment never left his face.

It’s interesting to watch Cecchinato

Back in January, Marco was not included in the top hundred, and now he will be in the top 30 and will be in sowing at Wimbledon. “Who knows, I may be able to win a couple of matches at Wimbledon, but in general the fact that I will be in the seed is good news for my opponents” , the Italian said with a smile again. Of course, the semi-finals of Roland Garros primarily influenced getting into the top 30, but in fact he announced himself at the end of April in Budapest. Marco lost in qualifying, but got into the base as a “lucky loser” and took full advantage of his chance. He became the ninth tennis player in ATP history to win the title as a Lucky Loser. Why did Cecchinato, who had never shown any results before, suddenly play great tennis? “Two months ago, something clicked in my head. Let’s say that at the age of 25, I finally matured. “.

Djokovic noted that Marco is not at all He was afraid to play on the central court of Roland Garros, he was not embarrassed by the noisy spectators and the importance of the match. According to Novak, Cecchinato did an excellent job with nerves at the most crucial moments. It really is. The Italian could keep the ball in play for a long time, agreeing to long throws on the back line, but at the same time he perfectly found moments for smashing attacks – both left and right. It’s really fun to watch him play. Marco is not one of those who count only on the mistakes of others; he knows how to play on his own and competently switch to attack. He has a new main match in his career ahead of him: the semi-final of Roland Garros with Dominic Tim.

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