Lorenzo Sonego claims his second career title after a three-set win over Laslo Djere in Cagliari - UBITENNIS
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Lorenzo Sonego claims his second career title after a three-set win over Laslo Djere in Cagliari

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Third seed and world number 34 Lorenzo Sonego claimed his second ATP Tour title with a 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 over Laslo Djere in just over three hours at the Sardegna Open at the Tennis Club Cagliari. 

 

Sonego has become the first player to clinch singles and doubles titles in the same tournament since Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s in London in 2019. Sonego teamed up with Andrea Vavassori to win the doubles title yesterday. 

Filippo Volandri was the last Italian player to win an ATP Tour-level title on home soil in Palermo in October 2006. Matteo Berrettini was the last Italian to win singles and doubles titles at the 2018 Swiss Open Gstaad. 

Djere earned an immediate break in the first game of the opening set. The Serbian player saved three break points in his first service game and broke serve in the seventh game with a backhand winner to build up a 5-2 lead. He served out the first set 6-2 on his first chance after 46 minutes. 

Sonego broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead, as Djere hit a forehand long. Djere came back to win three consecutive games for 4-3. Sonego fended off three break points at 5-5 to hold serve after two dueces. Sonego sealed the tie-break 7-5 with a foreand volley winner after 81 minutes. 

Sonego broke serve with a deep backhand return that forced an error from Djere in the fifth game of the third set to take a 3-2 lead. Djere earned a break point in the sixth game, but Sonego held serve at deuce for 4-2. The Italian player held his final two service games to clinch his first title since June 2019 at the Antalya Open. Sonego also finished runner-up to Andrey Rublev in the final of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna last October. 

Djere was bidding for his third title after his previous triumphs in Rio de Janeiro 2019 and Sardinia Open 2020. 

Sonego is the second Italian player to reach three finals on three different surfaces (Antalya on grass, Vienna on indoor hard-court and Cagliari on clay). The Turin native player achieved his career-high after beating Novak Djokovic 6-2 6-1 en route to the 2020 Vienna final, becoming the first lucky loser to beat the Serbian legend. Last October he beat Taylor Fritz 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 7-6 (19-17) to reach 2020 Roland Garros fourth round, winning the longest men’s singles tie-break in tournament history. Sonego started playing tennis at the age of 11 with Gipo Arbino, who has remained his coach to this day. He played football before focusing on tennis and is a keen fan of his home city football team Torino. His idols growing up were Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  

“The match was long and I remained calm in the second set tie-break. I knew the match was not 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 satisfied. I am happy to follow in the footsteps in Filippo Volandri’s footsteps and win a title on home soil”, said Sonego.

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Marin Cilic wins his first title since Queen’s 2018

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Marin Cilic claimed the 19th ATP Tour title of his career and his first since Queen’s 2018 with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 win over Felix Auger Aliassime  after 1 hour and 50 minutes in the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. 

 

Cilic won 100% of his first-serve points in three of his five matches and did not drop a set this week. 

The Croatian star is not 3-3 in grass court finals and 19-14 in his overall title matches. 

Both Cilic and Auger Aliassime saved three break points in their first service games. Cilic converted his ninth break point to take a 6-5 lead in the 11th game. Cilic was not able to serve out the first set, but he cruised through the tie-break 7-2, when Auger Aliassime hit a forehand long. 

The second set went on serve in the first seven games. Auger Aliassime won 64% of his first-service points, while Cilic claimed 90% of his second serve points. Cilic earned the only break of the second set in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-3. 

Cilic will play at Queen’s next week. 

“It was a very important win. I played two semifinals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s. Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling. Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though  some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today”, said Cilic. 

Auger Aliassime has dropped to 0-8 in his eight ATP Tour Finals. “Today I am not facing a final. I am facing Marin Cilic. It is two different things. There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close, but overall I think he was a better player overall”, said Auger Aliassime. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime sets up Stuttgart final against Marin Cilic

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Felix Auger Aliassime beat Sam Querrey 6-4 7-5 in 80 minutes to advance to the eighth ATP Tour Final of his career at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart without dropping a set this week. 

 

Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and hit seven aces. The Canadian Next Gen converted his first break point in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

The 20-year-old Canadian rising star won 89% of his first service points before earning a break point at 6-5 to seal the win. He lost to Matteo Berrettini in the 2019 final in Stuttgart. 

Auger Aliassime will face 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who won the first set 6-3 before Jurij  Rodionov, before the Austrian wild card was forced to withdraw from the match at 0-1 due to an injury problem at the start of the second set. 

“I am feeling really good and very excited to be in the final after quite a period that I didn’t reach a final. I think this was very positive week. I have played good tennis, served very well. Considering it is a shorter season, with one week less. It was great to play this week. Losing to Roger Federer gave me more time to prepare for the week. I have not enjoyed being at a tournament so much in a long period of time, because it is the first time my son, my wife and I are together at one tournament. The set up in Stuttgart is really nice. There is a lot of grass and open space aroung the hotel for my sonto play and it is so much fun having them around”, said Cilic. Cilic leads 2-0 in his head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime. They will play their first match on grass. 

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Barbora Krejcikova reaches both singles and doubles final at Roland Garros

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Barbora Krejcikova has qualified for the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros this weekend, as she and Katerina Siniakova claimed a 6-1 6-2 win over Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera. 

 

Krejcikova has the chance to become the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce claimed both tournaments in 2000. Serena Williams is the most recently player to win both the singles and doubles titles at any Grand Slam tournament, at Wimbledon 2016.

The Czech team will take on Bethanie Mattek Sands froand last year’s Roland Garros singles champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Irina Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska 6-3 6-4. Swiatek reached the quarter final this year in the singles tournament. Krejcikova and Siniakova have qualified for both Grand Slam women’s doubles finals this season. They lost to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 Australian Open last February. 

Krejcikova and Siniakova are bidding to win their second Roland Garros women’s doubles title. 

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