Serbian Success: Djere Captures Sardinia Crown
Djere claims second ATP Tour title
Laslo Djere became the third Serbian to capture a tour-level trophy in 2020 on Sunday, claiming his second ATP Tour crown with a 7-6(3), 7-5 victory against Marco Cecchinato at the Forte Village Sardegna Open.
The 25-year-old joined countrymen Novak Djokovic (4) and Miomir Kecmanovic (1) to take his nation’s trophy haul to six titles this year after two hours and 19 minutes. Serbian players own a 6-1 record in championship matches this season and Djokovic also led Team Serbia to the inaugural ATP Cup trophy in January..
“Serbia has quite a few [players] in the Top 100 at the moment, which is not that usual because we are [from] a small country,” said Djere. “Having five guys in the Top 100 is a really good feeling and motivating. When you see the other guys winning, you really believe you can also do it and there is also that rivalry but in a positive way. You want to be better than the others and you are pushing each other more and more. That is great.”
Serbia's 2020 Success Story
|Team Serbia||1||ATP Cup|
|Novak Djokovic||4||Australian Open
Eleven of Djere’s 13 tour-level victories this year have come on clay. Prior to his title run in Sardinia, the World No. 74 reached semi-finals on the surface in Cordoba and Kitzbühel. Djere has captured both his ATP Tour trophies at clay events, with his only previous triumph coming at last year’s Rio Open presented by Claro.
“I grew up on clay. When I was a kid, I mostly practised on clay. It is natural for me,” said Djere. “The movements are natural for me. The surface complements my game style. I play with a lot of topspin, especially on the forehand so I can adapt really fast on clay.
“My main focus is to improve my game on hard courts. So far it is improving, but it could be better. I wish [the improvement] was a little bit faster and I hope I can find a way to be as good on hard courts as [I am] on clay.”
Cecchinato was attempting to become the first Italian to triumph at a home ATP Tour event since Filippo Volandri’s 2006 title run in Palermo. The 28-year-old saved match point in his first-round match against Gianluca Mager en route to his fourth tour-level championship match (3-1).
“When you lose a final it is a tough moment, but I leave here with so many positive things because now I am coming back to the Top 100,” said Cecchinato. “I am very happy for this… I stayed very focussed on my game during the match from the first to the last point. There are so many positive things from the past few weeks.”
After trading breaks to open the final, a tie-break was required to decide the outcome of the first set. Djere concentrated his attack on Cecchinato’s backhand, extracting four errors in the opening six points to gain an commanding lead. The Serbian closed the set with a pinpoint backhand winner up the line.
Djere began to dictate rallies with his forehand in the second set and held two game points for a 3-0 lead, but Cecchinato continued to battle from the back of the court to find his way back into the match. Despite committing an increased number of errors, Djere maintained his forehand aggression to move closer to victory. Cecchinato attempted to close the net when serving at 5-6, but Djere found the target with two passing shot winners and a deep backhand return to take the title.
"It was a very tough match," said Djere. "I had to invest a lot of effort and strength... This match really took a lot out of me but I am happy that I pushed through it and was able to finish the match and win it at the end."
Djere earned 250 FedEx ATP Rankings points and €13,320. Cecchinato collected 150 points and €11,130.