In Sardinia the third seeded Lorenzo Sonego became the first Italian in 15 years to lift a title on home soil and he did it in some style, recovering from a set down to defeat Serbia’s Laslo Djere 2-6 7-6(5) 6-4 over some three hours having, 24-hours earlier, lifted the doubles crown with Andrea Vavassori at the Sardegna Open in Cagliari.
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 Lorenzo Sonego
“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.”
Djere set the pace by breaking in the first game and leaping ahead 5-2 wrapping up the opener in 45-minutes.
The young Italian though wasn’t done. He responded in the fourth game of the second by testing the Serbian’s patience which snapped when he struck a forehand long to take a 3-1 lead and then hold for 4-1.
But Djere struck back in turn by claiming the next three but failed to take three break points at 5-5 which would have set him up with the opportunity of going on to win the title.
That hold proved critical. It raised Sonego’s spirits as the set went into a tie-break where he held his nerve to level the match after 81-minutes with a forehand winner.
The momentum now lay with Sonego who romped into 3-1 lead in the decider to eventually go on and win the second trophy of his career.
“I have to congratulate Lorenzo on a great week,” said Djere following his defeat and the loss of his title. “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.”