Laslo Djere Downs Auger-Aliassime To Win Maiden Title In Rio, Pays Tribute To Parents - UBITENNIS
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Laslo Djere Downs Auger-Aliassime To Win Maiden Title In Rio, Pays Tribute To Parents

The 23-year-old has completed a dream week in the Brazilian capital by lifting his first ever ATP trophy.

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Laslo Djere (photo via Twitter @RioOpenOficial)

Serbia’s Laslo Djere will break into the world’s top 40 for the first time in his career after defeating rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 7-5, in the final of the Rio Open.

 

Djere, who recorded her first ever win over a top 10 player earlier in the week against Dominic Thiem, edged out his younger rival in what was a roller coaster match. Both players were contesting their first final on the ATP Tour and nerves were visible from the onset. Djere hit 15 winners to 27 unforced errors, which was a slight improvement on Auger-Aliassime’s tally of 20 and 47.

“It’s been the week of my dreams. So many things have been achieved here.” Djere said during an interview with TennisTV afterwards.
“I’m really happy, really excited and emotional right now. It (the match) was tough both mentally and physically. I’m happy I got through.”

Throughout the opening set there were continuous changes in momentum. Five out of the first six games featured breaks of serve, but it was the Canadian who struggled the most. 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime could only win 42% of his service points as he dropped serve four times. Enabling Djere to snatch the 6-3 lead.

The Serbian experienced tougher resistance at the start of the second set with Auger-Aliassime displaying glimmers of his talent on the court. Unfortunately for the Canadian, he was not consistent enough to tame Djere. The current world No.90 roared his way back from 0-2 to draw level at 3-3. Going on to close the match out by converting his fifth championship point after a forehand from his opponent slammed into the net.

“There was a lot of breaks in the match. Especially during the first set.” The 2019 Rio champion reflected.
“I think I played better in the second set and then I missed four match points on his serve. It was very tough mentally. I just tried to stay in the moment, focus on the next point. Luckily I managed to use (convert) my fifth match point.”

https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1099795792645238784

Despite falling short of the title, there is also reason to celebrate for Auger-Aliassime. At the age of 18 he has become the youngest player in history to contest a final of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced back in 2009. The run has also ensured that he will break into the world’s top 60 for the first time.

“I tried my best, but I wasn’t good enough tonight. I’ll keep working.” Said Auger-Aliassime.

During the trophy presentation, Djere paid a heartfelt tribute to his parents. Despite being only 23, both his mother and father have died of cancer. His mum passed away seven years ago and his father at the end of 2018.

“I want to dedicate this trophy to my parents. I lost my mum seven years ago, so I want to dedicate this one to her. Also to my dad, I lost him two months ago. Djere said as an eruption of cheers occurred around court.
“My parents have had the biggest impact on me and because of them I am who I am today. So I want to dedicate this to them. I hope they are watching me now.“

Djere will rise to a career high of 37th when the ATP rankings are updated on Monday.

https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1099799860621045760

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Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.

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Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.

 

Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@atptour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.

 

The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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