Lajovic Breaks New Ground In Monte-Carlo
Serbian has yet to drop a set this week
Less than 24 hours after securing the biggest win of his career against World No. 5 Dominic Thiem, Dusan Lajovic defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 7-5 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final on Friday.
"Right now it’s a relief and I showed to myself that I could do it. The tournament is still not over but I’m extremely happy and satisfied with the way I’ve played this week," Lajovic said. "To be in the semi-finals of a Masters , such a strong tournament, it’s really a big boost of confidence and I hope that it’s not the only one for the future."
The Serbian was forced to save one set point at 4-5 (30/40) in the second set en route to his 10th tour-level victory of the season after one hour and 47 minutes. Lajovic was competing in his second Masters 1000 quarter-final, following his run to the Mutua Madrid Open quarter-finals last year (l. to Anderson). Both players faced four break points. While Lajovic saved three of them, Sonego was only able to fend off one.
"I was trying to keep my pattern in these [big] points," Lajovic said. "I knew that if I played good, if I didn’t mess it up, it would be tough for him to win the point and it worked today. I saved quite a lot."
Yet to drop a set this week, Lajovic will meet 10th seed Daniil Medvedev, who stunned top seed Novak Djokovic, for a place in the championship match. The World No. 48 lost his only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter against Medvedev at the VTB Kremlin Cup last year.
"This level of the game is something that I need to keep in my mind to keep it in the future," Lajovic said. "I hope that I could make it in a couple more tournaments like this."
Prior to his arrival at the Grand Prix Hassan II last week, Sonego had reached one tour-level quarter-final. But the Italian qualifier has produced the best tennis of his career to reach back-to-back quarter-finals in Marrakech and Monte-Carlo. Three days ago, Sonego claimed the biggest win of his career against Rolex Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov.
Did You Know?
Lajovic is the lowest-ranked Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters semi-finalist since 2005 (No. 69 Ferrero and No. 101 Gasquet). If Lajovic defeats Medvedev on Saturday, he will become lowest-ranked Monte-Carlo finalist since 2001 (No. 53 Arazi).