Balazs Reaches First ATP Final In Umag
The qualifier continued his dream week on Saturday by ousting third-seeded Serbian Laslo Djere 6-2, 6-4. There were understandable nerves from Balazs and he failed to convert a match point when trying to serve out the semi-final at 5-2, but the Hungarian made good on his second attempt to prevail in one hour and 39 minutes.
Balazs’ only other ATP Tour semi-final came seven years ago in Bucharest. Currently No. 207 in the ATP Rankings, he is guaranteed to break his career-high standing of No. 153 when the new standings are released on Monday.
The Hungarian retired from the ATP Tour in August 2014 due to injury woes, four years after he reached his career-high ATP Ranking. But after life as a tennis coach ended up not being what he envisioned, Balazs returned to action two years later.
“It was just too boring,” he told ATPTour.com in April. “I said that I’m too young for coaching and felt the motivation in myself to make a comeback. I felt that I had nothing to lose and obviously now I’m very happy with the decision.”
Awaiting Balazs in the final will be fourth-seeded Serbian Dusan Lajovic, who moved into the final when qualifier Salvatore Caruso was forced to retire due to injury after dropping the opening set 7-5. Serving at 5-6, 0/15, the Italian hurt his right leg attempting to run down a ball. He received a medical timeout after the first set and played three points in the second set before he conceded defeat.
Lajovic is seeking his first ATP Tour title. The World No. 36 in the ATP Rankings recorded his maiden ATP Tour final in April at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (l. to Fognini).