Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Djere wins Rio Open for first ATP title

Djere wins Rio Open for first ATP title
Djere wins Rio Open for first ATP title

Laslo Djere beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 7-5 to win his first ATP title at the Rio Open.

Djere dedicated the title to his parents, both of whom died from cancer.

"I lost my mom seven years ago so I want to dedicate this one to her," he said to wild applause from the crowd.

"And also to my dad, I lost him two months ago. My parents had the biggest impact on me and, because of them, I am who I am today. I hope they are watching me now."

The 23-year-old, ranked number 90 in the world coming into this tournament, broke twice in the decisive second set to beat Auger-Aliassime, who was the youngest man to reach an ATP 500 final.

Auger-Aliassime saved four match points before succumbing to the unseeded right-hander, who had not won a match on clay all season and had never beaten a top 10 rival until he arrived in Rio.

He hammered Dominic Thiem in the first round, however, and did not lose a set on his way to clinching the title in impressive style.

Djere broke Auger-Aliassime six times in the two-hour final and was commanding with both his powerful forehands and two-handed backhands.

"It’s been the week of my dreams," Djere added. "So many things have been achieved here. I’m really happy, excited and emotional now."

Auger-Aliassime became just the fourth teenager to reach the final of an ATP 500 event -- the 13 tournaments which rank just below the Masters series -- since the level was created in 2009.

Article and photo by Reuters