Djere Stuns Former Champion Thiem In Rio
Before Tuesday, Serbian Laslo Djere didn't have a win on clay this season or a Top 10 win for his career. Now he has both. The 23-year-old, No. 90 in the ATP Rankings, routed No. 8 Dominic Thiem 6-3, 6-3 at the Rio Open presented by Claro.
“It was a great day. The biggest win in my career so I'm really happy right now... I hit the ball really well. He played a bit worse than normally I think, to be honest. But I had a great day. I felt the ball really well, hitting well from the baseline and then attacking well when it was time for that,” Djere said. “This is my favourite surface. So I know that I can play great tennis on clay.”
The 6'2” right-hander broke the top-seeded Thiem five times and benefitted from five double faults from the Austrian, an eight-time clay-court ATP Tour titlist. Djere lost his serve in the opening game, but he settled in from there, breaking Thiem twice in the opener.
The 2018 Roland Garros finalist never found his best level. He was broken to start the second set and again in the seventh and ninth games.
Thiem fell to 3-4 on the young season. He won the ATP 500 title in Rio in 2017 and had never lost prior to the quarter-finals in his two other appearances (2016, 2018). Djere will next meet either Brazilian wild card Thiago Seyboth Wild or Japan's Taro Daniel.
Third seed Marco Cecchinato, who won the Argentina Open title on Sunday in Buenos Aires, was also upset. Slovenian Aljaz Bedene grinded out a 7-5, 7-6(1) victory and will meet Brazil's Thiago Monteiro, who beat Portugal's Pedro Sousa 6-3, 6-2.
#NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud will face fifth seed Joao Sousa in the second round. Ruud beat Argentine lucky loser Carlos Berlocq 6-1, 6-2, and Sousa prevailed past Argentina's Guido Pella 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.