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Sonego fights back to beat Djere in Sardegna Open final

Tennis: Miami Open

Mar 30, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Lorenzo Sonego of Italy hits a backhand against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

CAGLIARI, Sardinia -- Lorenzo Sonego became the first Italian for 15 years to capture an ATP tour clay-court title on home soil after fighting back to beat Laslo Djere of Serbia and win the Sardegna Open on Sunday.

Third-seeded Sonego had to dig deep in the second set before prevailing 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in a final lasting just over three hours.

“The match was long and I remained calm in the second-set tiebreaker,” Sonego said. “I knew the match wasn’t finished because I had always kept fighting.

“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.”

It was Sonego’s second trophy in as many days after he partnered Andrea Vavassori to the Cagliari doubles title on Saturday, and his second singles trophy overall.

Djere, who won the first edition of the tournament at Forte Village in October, got off to the best possible start as he broke serve in the first game. He went on to save three break points in his first service game and broke again with a superb backhand winner for a 5-2 advantage, before wrapping up the set.

The 25-year-old Sonego recovered to take a 4-1 lead in the second set but Djere struck back to win three straight games. However, Sonego clinched the tiebreaker with a forehand volley.