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By Marco Madonia | Sunday, October 18, 2020

 
Laslo Djere

Laslo Djere broke serve in the final game defeating Marco Cecchinato 7-6(3), 7-5 collecting his second career title on the red clay of Sardinia.

Photo credit: Forte Village Resort Facebook

Laslo Djere overcame a cranky hip and crabby opponent to capture his second career title in Sardinia.

Djere broke serve in the final game defeating Marco Cecchinato 7-6(3), 7-5 in today's Forte Village Sardegna Open final on the red clay of Sardinia.

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The 74th-ranked Serbian won 10 of the 11 sets he played this week in collecting his first title since he defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime to win the Rio title in February, 2019. Djere saved eight of 11 break points he faced and won 16 of 24 points played on the Italian's second serve.

Djere joins world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic as the third Serbian title winner on the ATP Tour this season. Overall, Serbians have posted a 6-1 record in ATP finals in 2020.

Tennis Express

Consistent baseline depth and a positive disposition helped Djere defeat an Italian wild card for the second straight date. A sometime tense Cecchinato dropped the first final of his career falling to 3-1 in finals.

The pair traded breaks to open the match then stayed on serve the remainder of the first set.

Djere, who pulled up hitting a backhand and clutched at his hip during the 11th game, took treatment for an apparent left hip injury.

The Serbian baseliner climbed off the clay then clawed out of a 15-30 hole holding at 30 to force the first-set tiebreaker.

Perhaps still ruing his missed opportunity in the 12th game, Cecchinato lost the plot in the tiebreaker.

Pinned in his backhand corner, the Italian missed a backhand and slammed his Babolat racquet in frustration falling behind 0-2. A Cecchinato double fault gave the Serbian a 4-0 lead. Djere lanced the sideline with an ace for 6-1. Three points later, Djere landed a backhand down the line on the sideline snatching a one-set lead with a fantastic strike.

While a cranky Cecchinato invested emotional energy muttering to himself, inspecting ball marks of serves he suspected strayed long and staring at his box, Djere remainly firmly focused on the job at hand.

Djere continued his baseline pressure drawing a flat forehand into net to break a distracted Cecchinato for a 2-0 second-set lead.

Settling in, Cecchinato calmed his nerve and started striking deeper drives. On his third break point of the third game, Cecchinato broke back.

Two games later, the Italian wild card created his second straight break for 3-2 only to see Djere break right back in the sixth game.




On his fourth championship point, Djere pasted a return off the baseline to close his second career title with a kiss toward the sky.

A grumpy Cecchinato declined to acknowledge chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani after the match and continued griping before packing up his bag.


 

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