Sonego Fights Back To Complete Title Double In Cagliari
The third seed dug deep in the latter stages of the second set en route to a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over Laslo Djere of Serbia in just over three hours at the Tennis Club Cagliari.
“The match was long and I remained calm in the second-set tie-break,” Sonego told ATPTour.com. “I knew the match wasn’t finished because I had always kept fighting. It’s wonderful to win the title with all my team here. Now, I am really tired, but I am very happy. I am happy to follow in [Filippo] Volandri’s footsteps and win a title on home soil.”
Sonego, who ended Djere’s nine-match winning streak in Italy, is also the first player to capture singles and doubles titles in the same week since Feliciano Lopez at the 2019 cinch Championships in London. The 25-year-old Sonego partnered Andrea Vavassori to the Cagliari doubles title on Saturday.
Former World No. 25 Filippo Volandri was the last Italian to lift a tour-level trophy on home soil at Palermo (d. Lapentti) in October 2006. The last Italian to complete a title ‘double’ was Matteo Berrettini at the 2018 Swiss Open Gstaad.
Djere got off to the best possible start, breaking serve in the first game. He went on to save three break points in his first service game and took control of the pair’s third ATP Head2Head meeting with a superb backhand winner for a 5-2 advantage. Djere wrapped up the first set in 46 minutes, but Sonego soon responded.
The Italian’s patience was rewarded in the fourth game of the second set, when he used his backhand slice to vary the pace. Djere grew frustrated and he struck a forehand long at 1-2, 30/40. Sonego went on to take a 4-1 lead, but Djere struck back to win three straight games.
Under mounting pressure, Sonego managed to claw back three break points at 5-5, celebrating each point with a huge roar, in an impressive hold. He then dug deep in the tie-break, which turned in his favour when Djere struck a forehand long at 5/5. Sonego pumped his fist after a forehand volley winner that sealed the 81-minute second set.
Sonego appeared to be on course for his second ATP Tour title when he took a 3-1 lead, after he struck a deep backhand return that forced an error from Djere. The World No. 34 gained another break, when Djere overhit a forehand at 2-4, then later held his nerve with big serves to capture his first trophy since June 2019 at the Antalya Open (d. Kecmanovic).
Djere, also 25, had been hoping to claim his third title (2019 Rio de Janeiro, 2020 Sardinia). He is now 9-8 on the 2021 season.
"I have to congratulate Lorenzo on a great week," said Djere. "It was a pleasure to be back in Sardinia and I had a great week again, even though it didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Nevertheless, it’s still a great week for me and I’m looking forward to the upcoming weeks on clay and the tournament in Belgrade."