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By Marco Madonia | Saturday, October 17, 2020

Laslo Djere

Laslo Djere held a 2-6, 6-2, 4-1 lead when 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti retired with an arm issue sending the Serbian into his second ATP final.

Photo credit: Forte Village Resort Facebook

ATP semifinals have served as stumbling blocks for Laslo Djere.

Today, Djere leaped over a one-set deficit landing his second career final.

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Djere held a 2-6, 6-2, 4-1 lead when 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti retired with a right arm issue sending the Serbian into his second ATP final at the Forte Village Sardegna Open in Sardinia.

Tomorrow, Djere will face either another Italian wild card, Marco Cecchinato, for the title.

Cecchinato crushed lucky loser Danilo Petrovic 6-1, 6-0 in today's second semifinal denying the first all-Serbian ATP final in nine years. 

The 28-year-old Cecchinato, who saved a match point in his first-round win, is playing for his fourth career championship and first since the 2019 Buenos Aires when he defeated Diego Schwartzman in the final.

The 74th-ranked Serbian carried an ignominious 1-8 career semifinal record onto the red clay of the sun-swept Italian resort. Djere's lone semifinal win came against Aljaz Bedene at the 2019 Rio de Janeiro en route to his first ATP Tour title.

Today, Djere converted four of five break-point chances taking command as the match progressed. 

Playing just his third Tour-level main-draw, Italian wild card Musetti had lit it up this week reaching the semifinals without surrendering a set. Musetti got off to a strong start, but was shaking his arm in discomfort at times.

Musetti, who was bidding to become the youngest Italian finalist in the Open Era, called for the trainer after going down 1-4 and took some massage on his forearm and elbow before pulling the plug after 99 minutes.

Tennis Express

It was a disappointing end to what began as a fast start for Musetti. Standing near the back fence to return, Musetti hammered a deep backhand return drawing a netted error to break again for 5-2. Mixing deep drives with some sharper angles, Musetti built a one-set lead.

Regrouping, Djere charged through four straight games to start the second set.

Dashing near the doubles alley, Djere pulled a forehand pass down the line for set point then coaxed an error breaking again to force the decider. 

The 25-year-old Serbian streaked through 12 of 15 points building a 4-1 third-set lead when Musetti, who was struggling to keep the ball in the court, retired.

Earlier this year, Djere snapped a seven-match losing streak in Doha.

Tomorrow, Djere will play for his second title.


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