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By Richard Pagliaro | Sunday, April 11, 2021

 
Lorenzo Sonego

Lorenzo Sonego gutted out a 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 win over Laslo Djere to capture the Sardegna Open singles title a day after winning the doubles crown.

Photo credit: @ATPTour

Lorenzo Sonego poured three hours of passion onto home soil sealing a two-time title roll this weekend.

A spirited Sonego out-dueled Laslo Djere 2-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 to capture the Sardegna Open singles title in a three-hour battle a day after partnering compatriot Andrea Vavassori to claim the doubles crown.

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Sonego saved nine of 12 break points scoring his third straight three-set win following victories over Yannick Hanfmann and Taylor Fritz. It is Sonego's second career title coming two years after he won his maiden ATP championship at Antalya. Djere suffered his first loss in three career finals.




It was weekend of home celebration.

The 25-year-old Sonego is the first Italian man to to capture a tour-level title on home soil since Filippo Volandri ruled the 2006 Palermo. This comeback conquest rockets Sonego up the live rankings to a career-high No. 28 solidifying his status as the fourth highest-ranked Italian behind No. 10 Matteo Berrettini, reigning Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini and 23rd-ranked Jannik Sinner. 

The title trip comes six months after Sonego scored what he called "the best victory of my life" when the lucky loser  shocked world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-1 roaring into the first ATP 500-level semifinal of his career in Vienna last fall. Sonego made history as the first lucky loser to defeat Djokovic in an ATP tournament.

Sonego's double dip championship weekend continues a strong season for Italy, which now boasts 10 men in the ATP Top 100. Nineteen-year-old Lorenzo Musetti made a hard-court break through run in Acapulco last month and 19-year-old phenom Jannik Sinner followed with his surge to his first Masters 1000 final at the Miami Open. 

The 57th-ranked Djere carried a 10-1 record on Italian soil into this final, including a nine-match winning streak in Italy. The Serbian baseliner broke to open the match and won 12 of the last 15 points collecting a one-set lead.

Tennis Express

The third-seeded Sonego showed his crackling forehand breaking for a 3-1 second-set lead only to see Djere break back in the seventh game. In the tiebreaker, Sonego asserted his authority with his forehand, following a lashing forehand down the line to set up a volley winner and force a final set. 




Tension ratcheted in the decider. Neither man was tested on serve until the fifth game when Sonego broke then confirmed the break grinding through a stress test to hold for 4-2. Sonego slashed a slider serve out wide to close his second career title in three hours, one minute.

 

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